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In Pioneer Life S§ri§s 



4227 S. E. Stark St. 

The White Indian Boy 

Myers, Boise, Idaho 
Shoshone Falls of the Snake River, Idaho ; one of the wonder scenes 
in the land of Washakie's tribe. 

Pioneer Life Series 

White Indian Boy 

The Story of Uncle Nick 

Among the Shoshones 


E. TV. Wilson 

In collaboration with 
Howard R. Driggs 

Professor of Education in English 
University of Utah 

Illustrated with drawings by 
F. TV. Wilson 

Yonkers-on-Hudson, New York 

World Book Company 




Established, 1905, by Caspar W. Hodgson 

yonkers-on-hudson, new york 
2126 Prairie Avenue, Chicago 

The number of men and women who played 
a part in the conquest and settlement of 
the Great West grows smaller year by year, 
and the passing of these plainsmen and 
mountaineers marks the close of an era in 
our national life. To put into permanent 
form, as has been done in this book, a pio- 
neer's recollections of his early days, with 
their trials and adventures, is to make 
a certain contribution to history. Such a 
record shows us the courage, perseverance, 
and hardihood with which the foundations 
of the nation were laid, and to read it is 
to watch a state in the making. As a story 
of the days when Indian tribes still roamed 
the plains, this book will have for boys and 
girls all the interest of a tale of adventure. 
It is hoped that it will also give them a 
realization of the hardships and dangers 
so manfully faced by the settlers of the 
West and will implant in them a desire 
to prove themselves worthy successors to 
those builders of the nation. Other vol- 
umes of the Pioneer Life Series will follow 
The White Indian Boy 


Copyright, 1919, by World Book Company 

Copyright in Great Britain 

All rights reserved 

printed in u. s. a. 


If you ever go to the Yellowstone Park by way of Jack- 
son's Hole, you will most likely pass through Wilson, 
Wyoming. It is a picturesque little village situated at 
the foot of the Teton Mountains. A clear stream, rightly 
named Fish Creek, winds its way through the place. On 
the very edge of this sparkling mountain stream stands 
a log cabin. The cabin is so near the creek, indeed, that 
one might stand in the dooryard and catch fish. And 
this is what "Uncle Nick" Wilson, who lived in the cabin, 
has done many a time. That is a "true fish story," I am 
sure, because I caught two lively trout myself last sum- 
mer in this same creek only a few rods from the cabin. 

Who was Uncle Nick Wilson? you ask. He was an 
old pioneer after whom this frontier town was named. 
He was the man, too, who wrote this story book. You 
would have liked Uncle Nick, I know. He was a rather 
short, round-faced man with a merry twinkle in his eyes. 
He took things easily ; he spoke in a quiet voice ; he was 
never too busy to help his neighbors; he liked a good 
joke ; he was always ready to chat awhile ; and he never 
failed to have a good story to tell, especially to the children. 

Uncle Nick had one peculiarity. He did not like to 
take off his hat, even when he went into a house. I 
often wondered why, but I did not like to ask him. One 
day, however, some one told me the reason. It was 
because he had once been shot in the head with an arrow 
by an Indian. The scar was still there. 

From outward appearances one would hardly have 
guessed that Uncle Nick's life had been so full of ex- 
citing experiences. But when he was sitting about the 
campfire at night or at the fireside with a group of boys 
and girls, he would often get to telling his tales of the 
Indians and the Pony Express; and his hearers would 
never let him stop. My own two boys never got sleepy 


vi An Introduction to Uncle Nick 

when Uncle Nick was in the house ; they would keep call- 
ing for his stories again and again. 

This was one reason why he wrote this story book. 
He wanted boys and girls to have the pleasure of reading 
his stories as often as they pleased. How he was induced 
to write it is an interesting story in itself. 

Some years ago two professors of a certain Western 
university were making a trip with their families to the 
Yellowstone Park by way of Jackson's Hole trail. As 
they were passing through Wilson, one of the women in 
the party met with a serious accident. Her little boy had 
got among the horses, and the mother, in trying to save 
the child from harm, was knocked down and trampled. 

Help must be had at once ; but how to get it was a 
problem. The nearest doctor was over sixty miles away. 
While the unfortunate travelers were worrying about what 
to do, Uncle Nick's wife came to the rescue. She quietly 
assumed command of affairs, directed the making of a 
litter, and insisted that the wounded lady be carried to her 
cabin home a short distance away. Then she turned 
nurse, dressed the wounds, and attended the sufferer 
until she was well enough to resume the journey. 

The party meantime camped near by, and whiled away 
about three weeks in fishing and hunting and enjoying 
Uncle Nick's stories of the Wild West. Every night they 
would sit about the cabin fire listening to the old frontiers- 
man tell his "Injun stories" and his other thrilling ad- 
ventures of the early days. They felt that these stories 
should be written for everybody to enjoy. They were 
so enthusiastic in their desire to have it done that Uncle 
Nick finally consented to try to write them. 

It was a hard task for him. He had never attended 
school a day in his life ; but his wife had taught him his 
alphabet, and he had learned to read and spell in some 

An Introduction to Uncle Nick vii 

kind of way. He got an old typewriter and set to work. 
Day by day for several months he clicked away, until 
most of his stories were told. And here they are — true 
stories, of real Indians, as our pioneer parents knew them 
about seventy years ago. 

The book gives the nearest and clearest of views of 
Indian home-life ; it is filled, too, with stirring incidents 
of Indian warfare, of the Pony Express and Overland 
Stage, and other exciting frontier experiences. 

Uncle Nick may have had no schooling except as he 
got it in the wilds, but he certainly learned how to tell a 
story well. The charm of his style lies in its Robinson 
Crusoe simplicity and its touches of Western humor. 

Best of all, the stories Uncle Nick tells are true. For 
many months he was a visitor at our home. To listen 
to this kindly, honest old man was to believe his words. 
But the truth of what he tells is proved by the words of 
many other persons who knew him well, and others who 
have had similar experiences. For several years I have 
been proving these stories by talking with other pioneers, 
mountaineers, pony riders, students of Indian life, and 
even Indians themselves. Their words have unfailingly 
borne out the statements of the writer of this book. No 
pretense is made that this volume is without error. It 
certainly is accurate, however, in practically every detail, 
and true to the customs and the spirit of the Indian and 
pioneer life it portrays. 

Professor Franklin T. Baker of Columbia University, 
who read the book in manuscript, has pronounced the 
book " a rare find, and a distinctive contribution to the 
literature that reflects our Western life." 

The rugged, kindly man who lived through the scenes 
herein pictured has passed away. He died at Wilson, the 
town he founded, in December, 1915, during the seventy- 

viii An Introduction to Uncle Nick 

third year of his age. But he has left for us this tablet 
to his memory, a simple story of a simple man who lived 
bravely and cheerily in the storm and stress of earlier days, 
taking his part even from boyhood with the full measure 
of a man. 

Howard R. Driggs 


You have no doubt read or heard stories of the great wild 
West. Perhaps you have even listened to some gray- 
haired man or woman tell tales of the Indians and the 
trappers, who roamed over the hills and plains. They 
may have told you, too, of the daring Pony Express riders 
who used to go dashing along the wild trails over the 
prairies and mountains and desert, carrying the mails, and 
of the Overland men who drove their stages loaded with 
letters and passengers along the same dangerous roads. 

I know something about those stirring early times. 
More than sixty years of my life have been spent on the 
Western frontiers, with the pioneers, among the Indians, 
as a pony rider, a stage driver, a mountaineer, and a 

I have taken my experiences as they came to me, much 
as a matter of course, not thinking of them as especially 
unusual or exciting. Many other men have had similar 
experiences. They were all bound up in the life we had 
to live in making the conquest of the West. Others 
seem, however, to find the stories of my life interesting. 
My grandchildren and other children, and even grown 
people, ask me again and again to tell these tales of the 
earlier days ; so I have begun to feel that they may be 
worth telling and keeping. 

That is why I finally decided to write them. It has 
taken almost more courage to do this than it did actually 
to live through some of the exciting experiences. I have 
not had the privilege of attending schools, so it is very hard 
for me to tell my story with the pen ; but perhaps I may 
be able to give my readers, young and old, some pleasure 
and help them to get a clearer, truer picture of the real 
wild West as it was when the pioneers first blazed their 
way into the land. 

"Uncle Nick" Wilson 



Introduction v 

By Howard R. Driggs, telling who Uncle Nick was ; 
of his home in Jackson's Hole, Wyoming, and the story 
of how the book came to be written s 


1. Pioneer Days 1 

A sketch of the pioneer days in the West — Indian 
troubles — Account of desert tribes and Shoshones 

2. My Little Indian Brother 8 

How Nick learns the Indian language 

3. Off with the Indians 12 

Nick joins Washakie's tribe as adopted son of the 
chief's mother — Experience in getting to the tribe 

4. The Great Encampment 20 

The gathering of the Shoshone nation in Deer Lodge 
Valley, Montana 

5. Breaking Camp 28 

Story of the Buffalo hunt — Preparing meat for winter 

6. Village Life 33 

Winter experiences in the Indian village in Idaho 

7. My Indian Mother 39 

An Indian mother's sorrow — How she came to want 
a white papoose — Love of the red mother for the 
white child 

8. The Crows 44 

Struggles of the Shoshones with their rival enemy — 
Scares and war preparation 

9. Papoose Troubles 57 

Breaking Indian ponies — A fight with bears 

10. A Long Journey 69 

Wanderings of Washakie's tribe through the Idaho 
country on their trip to market their skins and robes 

11. The Snowy Moons 79 

Another winter with the Indians — Teaching the 
Indians the ways of the white man — Days of mourn- 

12. The Fierce Battle 89 

Fight for the buffalo grounds — Description of the 
battle in which Washakie settled the question of 
boundary lines 


Contents xi 


13. Lively Times 98 

An accident — Medicine man doctoring and other 
Indian practices in healing 

14. Old Morogonai 106 

The old Shoshone arrow maker and his stories of early 
times — Memories of Lewis and Clark 

15. The Big Council 112 

Indian chiefs confer as to what shall be done with 
the white boy 

16. Homeward Bound 119 

Nick, equipped with ponies and Indian trappings, 
returns to tell his own story of how he left home 

17. The Year of the Move 128 

The coming of Johnston's army to Utah and the 
leaving of their homes by the people — Nick shows 
his skill at riding wild horses 

18. The Pony Express 139 

Nick chosen as a rider — His experiences carrying the 
mail — Shot by an Indian 

19. Johnston Punishes the Indians 157 

Nick as a guide for the United States troops — The 
battle in the desert 

20. The Overland Stage 167 

Experiences of Nick as a driver of the Overland 

21. A Terrirle Journey 176 

Establishing the mail route from Idaho to Montana 
— The struggle in the snow 

22. My Old Shoshone Friends 192 

After experiences with the Indians — Hunting for the 
Indian mother's grave — Washakie 

23. Trapping with an Indian 197 

Nick spends a winter as a trapper — Description of 
the work 

24. Working on the Indian Reservation . . . 202 

Nick in government employ — Troubles in getting 
the tribe to settle down 

25. Frontier Trourles 2u7 

Capturing a band of cattle thieves — A chase after 
Indian horse-thieves — The Jackson's Hole Indian 
trouble — Closing words 

Glossary 219 

The Western trail in the early days. 



I was born in Illinois in 1842. I crossed the plains by 
ox team and came to Utah in 1850. My parents settled 
in Grantsville, a pioneer village just south of the Great 
Salt Lake. To protect themselves from the Indians, the 
settlers grouped their houses close together and built a 
high wall all around them. Some of the men would 
stand guard while others worked in the fields. The 
cattle had to be herded very closely during the day, and 
corralled at night with a strong guard to keep them from 
being stolen. But even with all our watchfulness we lost 
a good many of them. The Indians would steal in and 
drive our horses and cows away and kill them. Some- 
times they killed the people, too. 

We built a log schoolhouse in the center of our fort, 
and near it we erected a very high pole, up which we could 
run a white flag as a signal if the Indians attempted to 
run off our cattle, or attack the town or the men in the 
fields. In this log schoolhouse two old men would stay, 
taking turns at watching and giving signals when neces- 

£ - • The White Indian Boy 

sary, by raising the flag in the daytime, or by beating a 
drum at night. For we had in the schoolhouse a big 
bass drum to rouse the people, and if the Indians made a 
raid, one of the guards would thump on the old thing. 

When the people heard the drum, all the women and 
children were supposed to rush for the schoolhouse and 
the men would hurry for the cow corral or take their 
places along the wall. Often in the dead hours of the 
night when we were quietly sleeping, we would be startled 
by the booming old drum. Then you would hear the 
youngsters coming and squalling from every direction. 
You bet I was there too. Yes, sir, many is the time I 
have run for that old schoolhouse clinging to my mother's 
apron and bawling "like sixty"; for we all expected to 
be filled with arrows before we could get there. We could 
not go outside of the wall without endangering our lives, 
and when we would lie down at night we never knew what 
would happen before morning. 

The savages that gave us the most trouble were called 
Gosiutes. They lived in the deserts of Utah and Nevada. 
Many of them had been banished into the desert from 
other tribes because of crimes they had committed. The 
Gosiutes were a mixed breed of good and bad Indians. 

They were always poorly clad. In the summer they 
went almost naked ; but in winter they dressed themselves 
in robes made by twisting and tying rabbit skins together. 
These robes were generally all they had to wear during 
the day and all they had to sleep in at night. 

They often went hungry, too. The desert had but little 
food to give them. They found some edible roots, the 
sego, and tintic, which is a kind of Indian potato, like the 
artichoke ; they gathered sunflower and balzamoriza l 

1 Sometimes called " spring sunflower." It has a blossom much 
like the sunflower, and velvety leaves. It is common in parts of 
the West. 

Pioneer Days 


seeds, and a few berries. The pitch pine tree gave them 
pine nuts ; and for meat they killed rabbits, prairie dogs, 
mice, lizards, and even snakes. Once in a great while 
they got a deer or an antelope. The poor savages had a 
cold and hungry time of it ; we could hardly blame them 
for stealing our cattle and horses to eat. 

Yes, they ate horses, too. That was the reason they 
had no ponies, as did the Bannocks and Shoshones and 
other tribes. The Gosiutes wandered afoot over the 
deserts, but this made them great runners. It is said 
that Yarabe, one of these Indians, once won a wager by 
beating the Overland Stage in a race of twenty-five miles 




Bur. Am. Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution 
Gosiute wickiups in the desert. 

4 The White Indian Boy 

over the desert. Swift runners like this would slip in and 
chase away our animals, driving them off and killing 
them. Our men finally captured old Umbaginny and 
some other bad Indians that were making the mischief, 
and made an example of them. 

After this they did not trouble us so much, but the 
settlements were in constant fear and excitement. One 
incident connected with my father shows this. Our herd 
boys were returning from Stansbury Island, in the Great 
Salt Lake, where many cattle were kept. On their way 
home they met a band of friendly Indians. The boys, in 
fun, proposed that the Indians chase them into town, fir- 
ing a few shots to make it seem like a real attack. The 
Indians agreed, and the chase began. My father saw 
them coming and grabbed his gun. Before the white 
jokers could stop him and explain, he had shot down the 
head Indian's horse. It took fifty sacks of flour to pay 
for their fun. The Indians demanded a hundred sacks, 
but they finally agreed to take half that amount and call 
things square. 

Some of the Indians grew in time to be warm friends 
with us, and when they did become so, they would help 
protect us from the wild Indians. At one time Harrison 
Sevier, a pioneer of Grantsville, was out in the canyon 
getting wood. " Captain Jack," a chief of the Gosiutes, 
was with him. Some wild Indians attacked Sevier 
and would have killed him, but " Captain Jack " sprang 
to his defense and beat back the murderous Indians. 
The chief had most of his clothes torn off and was badly 
bruised in the fight, but he saved his white friend. Not 
all the Gosiutes were savages. Old Tabby, another of 
this tribe, was a friend of my father. How he proved 
his friendship for us I shall tell later. 

A rather amusing thing happened one day to Tabby. 

Pioneer Days 5 

He had just got a horse through some kind of trade. 
Like the other Gosiutes, he was not a very skillful rider. 
But he would ride his pony. One day this big Indian 
came galloping along the street towards the blacksmith 
shop. Riley Judd, the blacksmith, who was always up 
to pranks, saw Tabby coming, and just as he galloped 
up, Riley dropped the horse's hoof he was shoeing, threw 
up his arms and said, 

"Why, how dye do, Tabby!" 

Tabby's pony jumped sidewise, and his rider tumbled 
off. He picked himself up and turned to the laughing 
men, saying — 

"Ka wino (no good), Riley Judd, too much how dye do." 

Besides our troubles with the Indians, we had to fight 
the crickets and the grasshoppers. These insects swarmed 
down from the mountains and devoured every green thing 
they could find. We had hard work to save our crop. It 
looked as if starvation was coming. The men got great 
log rollers and rolled back and forth. Herds of cattle 
were also driven over the marching crickets to crush 
them ; rushes were piled in their path, and when they 
crawled into this at night, it would be set on fire. But 
all seemed in vain. Nothing we could do stopped the 

Then the gulls came by the thousands out of the Great 
Salt Lake. They dropped among the crickets and gorged 
and regorged themselves until the foe was checked. No 
man could pay me money enough to kill one of these birds. 

After the cricket war the grasshoppers came to plague 
us. Great clouds of them would settle down on our 
fields. Father saved five acres of his grain by giving up 
the rest to them. We kept the hoppers from settling on 
this patch by running over and over the field with ropes. 
We used our bed cords to make a rope long enough. 

The White Indian Boy 

Pioneer Days 7 

But it was a starving winter anyway, in spite of all we 
could do. We were a thousand miles from civilization, 
surrounded by hostile Indians. We had very little to 
eat and next to nothing to wear. It was a time of hunger 
and hardships; but most of the people managed to live 
through it, and things grew brighter with the spring. 

He went bucking through the sagebrush.' 



A few tame Indians hung around the settlements begging 
their living. The people had a saying, "It is cheaper to 
feed them than to fight them," so they gave them what 
they could; but the leaders thought it would be better 
to put them to work to earn their living ; so some of the 
whites hired the Indians. My father made a bargain 
with old Tosenamp (White-foot) to help him. The 
Indian had a squaw and one papoose, a boy about my 
age. They called him Pantsuk. 

At that time my father owned a small herd of sheep, 
and he wanted to move out on his farm, two miles from 
the settlement, so he could take better care of them. 
Old Tosenamp thought it would be safe to do so, as most 
of the Indians there were becoming friendly, and the 
wild Indians were so far away that it was thought they 
would not bother us ; so we moved out on the farm. 

Father put the Indian boy and 'me to herding the sheep. 
I had no other boy to play with. Pantsuk and I became 
greatly attached to each other. I soon learned to talk 


My Little Indian Brother 9 

his language, and Pantsuk and I had great times together 
for about two years. We trapped chipmunks and birds, 
shot rabbits with our bows and arrows, and had other 
kinds of papoose sport. 

Once we thought we would have some fun riding the 
sheep. I caught " Old Carney," our big ram, and Pantsuk 
got on him ; but as his chubby legs were hardly long 
enough to hold him on the big woolly back, I tied his feet 
together with a rope under the ram. Old Carney didn't 
like this. He broke away and went bucking through 
the sagebrush. Pantsuk tumbled off under him, and the 
old sheep dragged him for several rods before he got free. 
Pantsuk was a white papoose for sure, when he scrambled 
to his feet; but I guess I was more scared* than he was. 
We didn't want any more sheep-back rides. 

Some months after this the poor little fellow took sick. 
We did all we could for him, but he kept getting worse 
until he died. It was hard for me to part with my dear 
little Indian friend. I loved him as much as if he had 
been my own brother. 

After Pantsuk died, I had to herd the sheep by myself. 
The summer wore along very lonely for me, until about 
the first of August, when a band of Shoshone Indians 
came and camped near where I was watching my sheep. 
Some of them could talk the Gosiute language, which I 
had learned from my little Indian brother. The Indians 
seemed to take quite a fancy to me, and they would be with 
me every chance they could get. They said they liked to 
hear me talk their language, for they had never heard a 
white boy talk it as well as I could. 

One day an Indian rode up to the place where I was 
herding. He had with him a little pinto pony. I thought 
it was the prettiest animal I ever saw. The Indian could 
talk Gosiute very well. He asked me if I did not want 

10 The White Indian Boy 

to ride the pony. I told him that I had never ridden a 
horse. He said that the pony was very gentle, and helped 
me to mount it. Then he led it around for a while. The 
next day he came again with the pony and let me ride it. 
Several other Indians were with him this time. They 
took turns leading the pony about while I rode it. It was 
great sport for me. I soon got so I could ride it without 
their leading it. They kept coming and giving me this 
fun for several days. 

One day, after I had ridden till I was tired, I brought 
the pony back to the Indian who had first come, and he 
asked me if I did not want to keep it. 

"I would rather have that pony," I replied, "than 
anything else I ever saw." 

"You may have it," he said, "if you will go away with 

I told him I was afraid to go. He said he would take 
good care of me and would give me bows and arrows and 
all the buckskin clothes I needed. I asked him what 
they had to eat. He said they had all kinds of meat, 
and berries, and fish, sage chickens, ducks, geese, and 
rabbits. This sounded good to me. It surely beat living 
on "lumpy dick" l and greens, our usual pioneer fare. 

"Our papooses do not have to work," he went on, 
"they have heap fun all the time, catching fish and hunt- 
ing and riding ponies." 

That looked better to me than herding a bunch of sheep 
alone in the sagebrush. I told him I would think it over. 
That night I talked with old Tosenamp. The Indians 
had tried to get him to help them induce me to go with 
them. He refused ; but he did tell me that they would 
not hurt me and would treat me all right. The next 
day I told them I would go. 

1 Made by cooking moistened flour in milk. 

My Little Indian Brother 


My parents knew nothing about it. They would never 
have consented to my going. And it did look like a 
foolish, risky thing to do ; but I was lonely and tired and 
hungry for excitement, and I yielded to the temptation. 
In five days the Indians were to start north to join the 
rest of their tribe. This Indian was to hide for two days 
after the rest had gone and then meet me at a bunch of 
willows about a mile above my father's house after dark 
with the little pinto pony. The plan was carried out, as 
you will see. I went with them, and for two years I did 
not see a white man. This was in August, 1854. I was 
just about twelve years old at the time. 

Shoshone squaws on " pinto " and " buckskin " ponies. 

" I jumped on my horse and away we went. 



The night came at last when we were to leave. Just 
after dark I slipped away from the house and started 
for the bunch of willows where I was to meet the Indian. 
When I got there, I found two Indians waiting for me 
instead of one. The sight of two of them almost made 
me weaken and turn back ; but I saw with them my 
little pinto pony and it gave me new courage. They had 
an old Indian saddle on the pony with very rough rawhide 
thongs for stirrup straps. At a signal from them, I jumped 
on my horse and away we went. Our trail led towards 
the north along the western shore of the Great Salt Lake. 
The Indians wanted to ride fast. It was all right at 
first ; but after a while I got very tired. My legs began 
to hurt me, and I wanted to stop, but they urged me along 
till the peep of day, when we stopped by some very salt 
springs. I was so stiff and sore that I could not get off 
my horse, so one of them lifted me off and stood me on 
the ground, but I could hardly stand up. The rawhide 


Off with the Indians 


Map pf the Western country which was the scene of Uncle Nick' 

14 The White Indian Boy 

straps had rubbed the skin off my legs till they were raw. 
The Indians told me that if I would take off my trousers 
and jump into the salt springs it would make my legs 
better ; but I found that I could not get them off alone ; 
they were stuck to my legs. The Indians helped me, 
and after some very severe pain we succeeded in getting 
them off. A good deal of skin came with them. 

"Come now," they urged me, "jump into this water 
and you will be well in a little while." 

Well, I jumped into the spring up to my waist. Oh 
blazes ! I jumped out again. Oh, my ! how it did sting 
and smart ! I jumped and kicked. I was so wild with 
pain that I lay on the ground and rolled round and round 
on the grass. After half an hour of this, I wore myself 
out, and oh, how I cried ! The Indians put down a buffalo 
robe, and rolled me on to it and spread a blanket over me. 
I lay there and cried myself to sleep. 

When I awoke, they were sitting by a small fire. They 
had killed a duck and were broiling it for breakfast. 
"Come," they said, "and eat some duck." 
I started to get up, but oh ! how sore I was ! I began 
to cry again. They kept coaxing me to come and have 
something to eat until finally I got up and went to them, 
but I had to walk on a wide track. I ate some duck and 
dried meat and felt better. While I was eating they got 
the horses ready. 

"Come," they said, "get on your pony." 
"No," I objected, "I can't ride; I'd rather walk." 
They said that they were going a long way, and that 
I could not walk so far. Then they arranged the saddle 
so it would not hurt me so much, by putting a buffalo 
robe over it. They lifted me into it. It was not so bad 
as I thought it would be. The soft hair of the robe 
made the saddle more comfortable. One of them tied 

Off with the Indians 15 

my trousers to my saddle. That day I lost them and for 
more than two years I did not have another pair. During 
that time I wore Indian leggings and a blanket. 

We traveled all day over a country that was more like 
the bottom of an old lake than anything else. We camped 
that night by another spring. The Indians lifted me 
from my horse, put me down on a robe and started a fire. 
Then they caught some fish and broiled them again on 
the coals. It was a fine supper we had that night. 

The next morning I felt pretty well used up ; but when 
I had eaten some fish and a big piece of dried elk meat 
for breakfast, I felt more like traveling. Then we started 

Near mid-afternoon, we saw, about six miles ahead of 
us, the Indians we had been trying to overtake. They 
had joined with another large band, so there were a great 
many in the camp. By the time we caught up with them, 
they had stopped and were unpacking, and some of them 
had their wigwams set up. We rode through the camp 
until we came to a big tepee where a large, good-looking 
Indian was standing. This man, they said, was Washakie, 
their chief; I was to live with him, and he would be my 

An old squaw came up to my horse and stood look- 
ing at me. The Indians said that she was the chief's 
mother and that she would be my mother, too. They 
told her that my legs were badly skinned and were very 
sore. Then Washakie helped me off my horse. 

The old squaw put her hand on my head and began 
to say something pitiful to me, and I began to cry. She 
cried, too, and taking me by the arm, led me into the 
tepee, and pointed to a nice bed the chiefs wife had 
made for me. I lay down on the bed and sobbed myself 
to sleep. When I awoke, this new mother of mine brought 


The White Indian Boy 

Off with the Indians 17 

me some soup and some fresh deer meat to eat. I tell 
you it tasted good. 

The next morning my new mother thought she would 
give me a good breakfast. They had brought some flour 
from the settlements, and she tried to make me some 
bread, such as I had at home. They had no soda, nothing 
but flour and water, so the bread turned out to be pretty 
soggy. I think she didn't like it very well when she 
found I didn't eat it, but I simply couldn't choke it down. 
I did make a good meal, however, of the fried sage chicken 
and the fresh service berries that she brought with the 

That day my mother and Hanabi, the chief's wife, 
started to make me something to wear; for after I lost 
my trousers, I had nothing but an old thin shirt, out at 
the elbows, and a straw hat that had lost part of its brim. 
The two women worked for several hours and finally got 
the thing finished and gave it to me to put on. I do not 
know what to call it, for I had never seen anything like 
it before, but it may have been what the girls now call a 
"mother-hubbard." It was all right anyhow, when I 
got it on and my belt around to keep the thing close to 
me ; but I had to pull the back up a little to keep it from 
choking me to death when I stooped over. 

We stayed at this camp for five days to give me time 
to get well. My good old mother rubbed my legs with 
skunk oil and they healed rapidly. It had got noised 
around that my legs were very bad, and one day when 
I was out in front of the tepee, a lot of papooses wanted 
to see them. One stooped to raise my mother-hubbard 
to take a look, and the rest began to laugh, but they 
didn't laugh long, for I gave him a kick that sent him 
keeling. Then his mother came out after me, and I 
thought she was going to eat me up. She scolded and 

18 The White Indian Boy 

jawed, but I couldn't tell what she was saying, so it did 
not make much difference to me. My old mother, hear- 
ing the noise, came up and led me into the tepee and 
gave me some dried service berries. I thought that if 
that was the way they were going to treat me, I would 
kick another one the first chance I got. 

It was not long before I got the chance, for the next 
day a papoose about my size tried the same trick and I 
fetched him a kick that made him let out a yell that 
could have been heard a mile. It brought about half 
the tribe out to see how many I had killed. That papoose's 
mother turned loose on me, too, with her tongue and 
everlastingly berated me. The chief happened to see 
the trouble, and I think that is what saved me from being 
cremated. Anyhow, the papooses left my mother- 
hubbard alone after that. 

My mother began then to teach me the Shoshone 
language. My knowing how to talk the Gosiute tongue 
made it easier for me, for these two Indian dialects are 
very much alike. 

One night the hunters came in loaded with game, and 
the next day we began to move. The horses were brought 
in, and among them was my pinto pony. When I saw 
him, it seemed like meeting some one from home. I ran 
up and hugged him. My good old mother had fixed up a 
pretty good saddle, all cushioned in fine style to keep it 
from hurting me. 

We traveled about fifteen miles that day and camped 
on a small stream they called Koheets (Curlew). Mother 
told me to wade out into the water and bathe my legs. 

"Not much," I said, "I have had all the baths I want," 

She said that the water would make my legs tough, 
and when she saw I wouldn't go into the stream she 
brought some cold water and told me to wash them. I 

Off with the Indians 


wanted to know whether it was salt water. She said it 
wasn't, so I bathed my legs, and when I found that the 
water did not hurt them I waded into the creek. Washakie 
said it was "tibi tsi djant" — heap good. 

Shoshone wickiup. 

Dr. T. M. bridges 

Lodges of this kind were used in the summer season. 

" I begged him to let me go." 



It was the custom of the Shoshone chieftains in those 
early days to gather all of their tribe every three years. 
As this was the year for the great tribal meeting, we 
started for the big camp ground. After traveling for three 
days, we reached a large river, which the Indians called 
Piupa (Snake River). Here we were joined by another 
large band of the same tribe. 

In order to cross the river, the squaws built boats of 
bulrushes tied in bundles; these bundles were lashed 
together until they made a boat big enough to hold up 
from six to eight hundred pounds. The Indians made 
the horses swim over, and some of the papoose boys rode 
their ponies across. I wanted to swim my horse, but my 
mother would not let me. It took about a week to get 
across the river ; but during that time I had some of the 
best fun of my life. 

My mother gave me a fishhook and a line made out of 
hair from a horse's tail. With this tackle I caught my 


The Great Encampment 


first fish, and some of them were very large ones, too. 
The other boys became more friendly, and we had jolly 
times together; but mother kept pretty close watch 
over me, for fear I would kick them, and get into more 
trouble. After I began to play with the papooses, I 
picked up the Shoshone language much faster. 

Nothing else of importance happened until we reached 
Big Hole Basin. There I saw the first buffalo I had seen 
since crossing the plains. Seven head of them appeared 
one morning on a hill about a mile away. Ten Indians 
started after them. One, having a wide, blade-like spear- 
head attached to a long shaft, would ride up to a buffalo 
and cut the hamstrings of both legs, then the others 
would rush up and kill the wounded animal. 

About fifteen squaws followed the hunters to skin the 
buffaloes and get the meat. Mother and I went with 
them. The squaws 
would rip the animals 
down the back from 
head to tail, then rip 
them down the belly 
and take off the top 
half of the hide and cut 
away all the meat on 
that side from the bones. 
They would tie ropes to 
the feet of the carcass 
and turn it over with 
their ponies, to strip off 
the skin and flesh from 
the other side in the 
same way. 

The meat was then 
carried to camp to be 

Meat drying before the tepee of a Crow 


The White Indian Boy 

The Great Encampmerit %3 

sliced in thin strips and hung up to dry. When it was 
about half dry, the squaws would take a piece at a time 
and pound it between two stones till it was very tender. 
It was then hung up again to dry thoroughly. The dried 
meat was put into a sack and kept for use in the winter 
and during the general gatherings of the tribe. The older 
it got the better it was. This is the way the Indians cured 
all of their buffalo meat. Washakie had about five hundred 
pounds of such meat for his own family when we reached 
Deer Lodge Valley, now in Montana, the place of our 
great encampment. 

It was about the last of August before all of the tribe 
had assembled. What a sight it was to see so many 
Indians together! The tepees were strung up and 
down the stream as far as I could see, and the whole 
country round about was covered with horses and dogs. 
As nearly as -I could find out, about six thousand Indians 
had gathered. When I asked the chief how many there 
were, he said that he could not count them. And to 
think that I was the only white person within hundreds 
of miles, perhaps ! It gave me rather a queer feeling. 

Mother kept very close watch over me for fear that I 
should get hurt or lost among so many Indians. When- 
ever I went around to see what was going on, she was 
nearly always by my side. She warned me especially 
against Pocatello's Indians, telling me that they were 
very bad, that they would steal me and take me away 
off and sell me to Indians that would eat me up. She 
scared me so badly that I stuck pretty close to her most 
of the time. 

The Indians spent much of their time horse-racing 
and gambling. They would bet very heavily; I saw 
an Indian win fifty head of ponies on one race. Two 
Indians were killed while racing their horses, and a squaw 


The White Indian Boy 

The Great Encampment %5 

and her papoose were run over; the papoose was also 

Some of Pocatello's Indians had several scalps they 
had taken from some poor emigrants they had killed. 
I saw six of these scalps. One was of a woman with red 
hair, one a girl's scalp with dark hair, and four were men's 
scalps, one with gray hair, the rest with dark hair. I 
cannot describe the feelings I had when I saw the red 
devils dancing around those scalps. It made me wish 
that I were home again herding sheep and living on 
"lumpy dick" and greens. 

Washakie's Indians had a few Crow scalps, for at this 
time the Shoshones and Crows were at war with each 
other. I am pretty sure that they had no white scalps; 
or if they had, they did not let me see them. 

The Indians had great times dancing around the scalps. 
They would stick a small pole in the ground and string 
scalps on it. Then they would dance around it, singing 
and yelling at the top of their voices, making the most 
horrible noises I ever heard. The leaders of the different 
bands would take the inside, the warriors would circle 
about them and the squaws and papooses would dance 
around the outside. The noise they made would shame a 
band of coyotes. As many as five hundred Indians would 
be dancing in this way at one time, and they would keep 
at it for hours. I got sick and tired of their hideous 
noises ; but they thought they were having a high time. 
This singing and dancing was kept going at intervals for a 
week or more. 

The time was drawing near when we were to separate, 
and I was glad of it. Some of Pocatello's Indians left a 
few days ahead of the rest of his band. A day or two 
before our band was to start my pinto pony ran off with 
some other horses. I slipped away from my mother and 

26 The White Indian Boy 

went after him. Before I had gone far I met some 
Indians hunting horses, but they said they had not seen 
mine. I kept on going until another Indian came up 
to me. He said he had seen some horses go over a ridge 
about a mile away. 

"If you will get on my horse behind me," he said, "I 
will take you over and see if your horse is there." Think- 
ing no harm, I got on his horse and off we started ; but 
when we got to the top of the hill no horses were to be 
seen. After we got over the hill he began to ride fast. 
I got scared, for I thought of the man-eating savages my 
mother had told me about. I asked him to stop and let 
me get off, but he only whipped his horse harder and went 

Watching my chance, I jumped off and almost broke 
my neck; but I got up and put back towards camp as 
hard as I could run. The Indian turned, dashed up, 
and threw his lasso over me. After dragging me several 
rods he stopped, and hit me with his quirt, telling me to 
get back on his horse or he would put an arrow through 
me. I cried and begged him to let me go ; but he made 
me get on again, and then he struck off as fast as he could 
go. I noticed, however, that he kept looking back every 
little while. 

Pretty soon he stopped and told me to get off. As I 
jumped he gave me a lick over the head with his quirt 
that made me see stars for a few minutes. Then he 
started off on the run again ; but after going about fifty 
yards he stopped, pulled his bow and arrow out of his 
quiver and started towards me as if he intended to put 
an arrow through me. He came but a few steps, then 
suddenly whirled his horse and off he went over the 

I soon saw what caused his hurry. A short distance 

The Great Encampment %7 

away were some Indians coming towards me as fast as 
they could travel. When they reached me, they stopped, 
and one of them told me to get on behind him and he 
would take me to my mother. I climbed up double 
quick. Before we got to the tepees I met mother 
coming out to find me. She was crying. She took me 
off the horse and threw her arms around me. One of 
Pocatello's Indians, she said, was trying to steal me and 
she never expected to find her white papoose again. 

Some Indians happened to see me get on my horse 
behind the Indian and told my mother, and Washakie 
had sent those Indians after me, before we got very far 
away. Mother stayed close to me after that; but I 
had had such a scare that I didn't go very far from the 
tepee without her. The chief told me never to go alone 
after my horse if he got away again, but to let him know 
and he would have the pony brought back. "If Poca- 
tello's Indians," he said, "could get you, they would 
swap you for a whole herd of ponies, and then it would 
be 'good-by Yagaiki. ' " " Yagaiki," by the way, was my 
Indian name. It meant "the crier." They gave it to 
me because I mimicked the squaws and papooses one 
day when they were bawling about something. 


I jumped from my horse and raised her up. 



The camp finally began to break up in earnest. Small 
bands went off in different directions to their various hunt- 
ing grounds that had been decided on by the council. 
We were among the last to leave. There were about sixty 
tepees and two hundred and fifty Indians in our band. 
We had about four hundred horses, and more than five 
hundred dogs, it seemed to me. 

Chief Washakie at that time was about twenty-seven 
years old. He was a very large Indian and good looking. 
His wife, Hanabi, did not appear to be more than twenty 
years old. She had only one child, a little boy papoose 
about six months old. 

Pocatello was not so large as Washakie. He was a 
Shoshone, but his wife was a Bannock. She had three 
papooses when I first saw her. Pocatello was a wicked 
looking Indian. His tribe did more damage to the emi- 
grants than any other tribe in the West. He wanted to 
be the big chief of the Shoshones ; he thought he ought 
to be the leader because he was older than Washakie, 


Breaking Camp 29 

but the tribe would not have it that way. He did draw 
away about five hundred of the tribe, however, and tried 
to change the tribe name to "Osasibi" ; but Washakie's 
Indians called them "Saididig," which means dog- 

When this band of Indian outlaws joined us in the Big 
Hole Basin, they had new quilts, white women's clothes, 
new guns, watches, saddles, and hats. Mother told me 
that they had just attacked a large train of emigrants, 
and had killed the people, burned their wagons and robbed 
them of everything. They had some very large horses 
and mules with them. Mother wanted to buy a saddle 
and a hat for me, but I told her that I would not wear a 
hat whose owner had been killed and scalped by old 

Washakie and Pocatello were never very friendly. 
Pocatello wanted to keep up a constant warfare against 
the whites ; but Washakie knew that meant only trouble 
and that the Indians would finally get the worst of it; 
so he would have nothing to do with Pocatello' s murderous 
business. Because Washakie thought it would be much 
better to live in peace with the whites, Pocatello called 
him a squaw and said he was afraid to fight. 

I was very glad to go ; for I was tired of being stared 
at by so many Indians. There were hundreds of young 
Indians in the camp and many old ones, too, that had 
never seen a white person before. They would gather 
around me as if I were some wild animal. If I moved 
more suddenly towards them, they would jump back and 
scream like wildcats. My mother told them that I would 
not bite, but if they bothered me too much I might kick 
some of their ribs loose, for I could kick worse than a wild 

Two or three days after we had left the big camp, the 

30 The White Indian Boy 

L. A. Huffman, Miles City, Mont. 
Buffaloes on the plains. 

pack on one of our horses turned under his belly and he 
began to run and kick like mad. This started the rest of 
the pack horses and they came running past us. Mother 
tried to stop them, but one of the runaways bumped against 
her horse and knocked it down. It rolled over with her. 
I thought she was killed. I jumped from my horse and 
raised her up. She was not dead, but she was badly 
bruised and one of her arms was broken. I think I never 
cried harder in my life than I did then, for I thought my 
poor mother was going to die. She told me not to cry, 
that she would be all right soon. 

Washakie's wife was there and she told me to dash 
ahead and tell the chief to hurry back. When he came, 
he ordered the band to stop and pitch camp. We had to 
stay there a week to let mother get well enough to travel 
again. There were a great many antelope in the valley 
and plenty of fish in the stream by the camp. When 
mother would go to sleep, I would go fishing. When she 
awoke Hanabi would call, "Yagaiki come," and I would 
get back in double-quick time. 

One day while we were camped here waiting for mother 
to get better, I went out with Washakie and the other 
Indians to chase antelope. About fifty of us circled around 

Breaking Camp 31 

a bunch and took turns chasing them. The poor little 
animals were gradually worn out by this running and 
finally they would drop down one after another, hiding 
their heads under the bushes, while the Indians shot 
them to death with their bows and arrows. I killed two 
myself. When I got home and told mother about it, she 
bragged about me so much that I thought I was a "heap 
big Injun." 

Mother's arm soon got well enough for her to travel, for 
the medicine man had fixed it up very well, so we took 
up our journey again. There were a great many buffaloes 
and antelope too, where we next pitched camp. We 
stayed there for about three weeks. During the times 
that she could not watch me, mother had Washakie take 
me out on his hunting trips. That just suited me. It 
was lots of fun to watch the Indian with the big spear dash 
up and cut the hamstrings of the great animals. When 
they had been crippled in this way, we would rush up and 
shoot arrows into their necks until they dropped dead. 
The first day we killed six, two large bulls and four cows. 

L. A. Huffman, Miles City, Mont. 
Why the buffalo disappeared ; part of the white man's trail. 

32 The White Indian Boy 

I told Washakie that my bow was too small to kill 
buffaloes with. He laughed and said I should have a 
bigger one. When we got back to camp, he told some 
Indians what I had said and one very old Indian, whose 
name was Morogonai, gave me a very fine bow and 
another Indian gave me eight good arrows. I felt very 
proud then ; I told mother that the next time I went out 
I would kill a whole herd of buffaloes. She said she knew 
I would, but she did not know what they could do with all 
the meat. 

Washakie said that I was just like the rest of the white 
men. -They would kill buffaloes as long as there were 
any in sight and leave their carcasses over the prairies for 
the wolves. He said that was not the way of the Indians. 
They killed only what they needed and saved all the 
meat and hides. 

"The Great Spirit," he said, "would not like it if we 
slaughtered the game as the whites do. It would bring 
bad luck, and the Indians would go hungry if they killed 
the deer and buffaloes when they were not needed for 
food and clothing." 

Two or three days after this we went out again and 
killed two more buffaloes. When we got back mother 
asked how many I had killed. I told her that I shot twice 
at them and I believed I had hit one. She said that I 
would be the best hunter in the tribe afterwhile, and some 
day, she said, I would be a big chief. 

The boy papooses made fun of me." 

. WI1.6JM' 



Cold weather was coming. Some snow had already fallen 
in the mountains. Hanabi and her friends went to work 
to make me some better clothes. Very soon they had a 
fine suit ready. 

The trousers part was made somewhat like the chaps 
worn by cowboys, being open in front, with no seat ; but 
on the sides they had wedge-shaped strips that ran up and 
fastened to the belt. These leggings fitted pretty tight, but 
there was a seam about as wide as my hand that could be 
let out if necessary. They gave me a pair of new mocca- 
sins that came up to my knees. They also made me an- 
other overshirt, or " mother-hubbard, " out of fine smoked 
buckskin ; it fitted me better than did my first one. The 
sleeves came down a little below my elbows and had a 
long fringe from the shoulders down ; it was also fringed 
around the neck and the bottom ; and to touch it up more, 
they had stitched beads in heart and diamond shapes 
over the breast. The clothes were all very fine ; but when 
I got them on, I looked a good deal like a squaw papoose. 



The White Indian Boy 

Village Life 35 

I didn't care much, though, for the clothes fitted me pretty 
well and they were warm and comfortable. Mother also 
made me a hat out of muskrat skin. It ran to a peak and 
had two rabbit tails sewed to the top for tassels. With 
my new clothes on, I was better dressed than any other 
kid in camp. 

We now started for the elk country. When we got 
there, the Indians killed about one hundred elk and a few 
bear ; but by that time it was getting so cold that we set 
out for our winter quarters. After traveling a few days 
we reached a large river, called by the Indians Piatapa, by 
the whites the Jefferson River; it is now in Montana. 
Here we pitched camp to stay during the "snowy moons." 

Most of the buffaloes by this time had left for their 
winter range ; but once in a while we saw a few as they 
passed our camp. The Indians did not bother them, 
however, because we had plenty of dried meat, and for 
fresh meat there were many white-tail deer that we could 
snare by hanging loops of rawhide over their trails through 
the willows. There were also a great many grouse and 
sage hens about in the brush. I have killed as many as 
six or seven of these a day with my bow and arrows. 

Winter passed away very slowly. Nothing exciting 
happened until along towards spring; then one day we 
had a terrible fracas. Washakie had gone up the river a 
few miles to visit another large Indian village for a day or 
two. While he was away, pretty nearly all the camp got 
into a fight. 

We had a fishing hole close to camp where the squaws 
and papooses would fish. Mother and I had been down 
there with the others fishing through this hole in the ice, 
and when we had caught a good string of fish mother 
took what we had to the tepee. She told me not to stay 

36 The White Indian Boy 

As soon as she had gone, a girl, a little larger than I, 
wanted to take my tackle and fish in my hole. I let her 
have it, and she caught several fish. Then I heard mother 
call me and I asked the girl to give me back my pole so I 
could go home, but she would not do it. I tried to take 
it from her, but she jerked it away and hit me over the 
head with it, knocking me to my knees. I jumped up and 
gave her a whack that knocked her down ; when she got 
up she let out some of the awfulest yelps I ever heard. 
Then she put for home as fast as she could go, yelling and 
screaming. I knew something else would happen pretty 
quick ; so I gathered up what fish the other papooses 
hadn't run away with and hiked for home too. Just as I 
got inside the tepee, the girl's mother came rushing 
up with a big knife in her hand. "Give me that little 
white devil!" she screamed. "I'll cut his heart out!" 
She started for me, but mother stopped her, and shoved 
her back out of the tepee. 

They made such a racket that the whole camp gathered 
around to see the fun. The squaw hit mother over the 
head with the knife ; and when I saw the blood fly, I 
grabbed a stick and struck the squaw over the head, 
knocking her down. Another squaw grabbed mother and 
I sent her spinning. Then others mixed in and took sides 
and soon the whole bunch was yelling and fighting fit to 
kill. One boy grabbed my stick, but I gave him a kick 
that settled him. Then Hanabi took the stick from me : 
but I ran into the tepee and grabbed my bow and ar- 
rows. I was so mad I would have made a few "good squaws" 
in quick time ; but a big Indian jerked my bow from me 
and broke the string. I guess it was best that he did. 
More Indians rushed up and stopped the fight ; but not 
before a lot of them went off howling with sore heads. 
That night Washakie came home and held a big council. 

Village Life 


I don't know what they 
said, but the next day 
two or three families left 
our camp and went to 
join another band. 

Everything now passed 
along very well for a time. 
I helped mother carry 
wood and water. The 
boy papooses made fun 
of me, calling me a squaw 
for doing it, because 
carrying wood and water 
was squaw's work. I 
told mother that I would 
break some of their necks 
if they didn't stop it. " 
"they are bad boys." 

But one day we were getting wood, and having cut more 
than we could carry in one trip, I went back for it when a 
boy ran up to me and said, "You're a squaw," and spit 
at me. I threw down my wood and struck out after him. 
He ran yelping at every jump, expecting me, I guess, to 
kick his head off. But Washakie happened to see us and 
called to me to stop. It was lucky for that papoose that 
he did. I went back and got my wood and took it to 
the tepee. 

Washakie wanted to know what it was all about. I 
told him what the boy had done. He said he did not 
want to start another camp fight, but he did want me to 
take my own part. He said that he had been watching 
how things were going, and he was glad to say that, so 
far as he knew, I had never started a fuss. He did not 
think that I was quarrelsome if I was let alone. He was 

Bur. Am. Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution 

The seed gatherers of Western desert 

Oh, let them alone," she said, 

38 The White Indian Boy 

glad, he said, to see me stand up for myself ; for if I was 
cowardly the papooses would give me no peace. 

One day I heard an Indian talking to Washakie and 
telling him it was not right for him to let me do squaw's 
work; it would set a bad example for the other boys. 
Washakie replied that he thought it was a good example, 
and if some of the older ones would take it, it would be 
better for their squaws. 

"We burden our women to death," he said, "with hard 
labor. I did not think so much about it until Yagaki 
came. I see now how much he helps mother and how 
much hard work she has to do. Yagaki appears to be 
happier helping mother than he is when playing with the 
other boys. I believe that she would have gone crazy 
if it had not been for him, her troubles over the loss of 
father and my brothers were so great. I do believe that 
the Great Spirit sent the little white boy to her." 

I think myself that if anything had happened to me, it 
would have killed mother. She was very proud to have 
me with her. She would say to Washakie, "Yagaki is a 
smart boy. He asks me questions that I can hardly 
answer. One day he asked me why the Indians did not 
haul and cut the wood for their women. His father does 
that for his mother. He thinks that the Indians ought to 
pack the meat, too, and take care of their own horses, or 
send the boys to do it. If the women tanned the hides 
and made the moccasins and clothes for the family and 
did the cooking, it was their share of the work." 

I heard all this talk going on one night when they 
thought I was asleep. Washakie agreed with most of 
what his mother said, but of course they couldn't change 
the Indians' way of doing things. 

'She used to tell me her troubles. 



My Indian mother was as good and kind to me as any 
one could be, but she did not seem to realize that there 
was another loving mother miles and miles away whose 
heart was sorrowing because of my absence. To her mind 
must have come many times these words of the old song : 
"Oh, where is my wandering boy tonight?" 

My Indian mother would often ask me a good many 
questions about my white mother. She asked me if I 
did not want to go home. I told her that I should like to 
see my folks very much, but if I went home they would 
keep me there, and I did not want to herd sheep. I told 
her that I would rather play with white boys than with 
Indian boys, but that I liked my bow and arrows, and 
father would not let me have these at home because I 
would be shooting at the cats and chickens all the time. 
"I like my pony too, and I could not take him home," 
I said, "and I love you too. If I went away you could 
not go with me ; so taking it all around I should rather 
stay with you." 

40 The White Indian Boy 

This always seemed to please her ; for her face would 
light up and sometimes a tear would steal down her 
brown cheeks, and then she would grab me and hug me 
until you could hear my ribs crack. 

Often she would tell me about her troubles. Her hus- 
band had been shot a few years before in the knee with a 
poisoned arrow by the Crow Indians. He lived a little 
over a year after the battle, but he suffered greatly before 
he died. Soon after his death her two boys named Piubi 
and Yaibi went out hunting mountain sheep. While 
they were climbing a steep hill, a snowslide crashed down 
and buried them in the deep gorge at .the bottom of the 
canyon. Here they lay until late in the following spring. 
The Indians tried to find their bodies by pushing long 
sticks into the snow, but they could not locate them. 

But their mother would not give up the search. She 
told me how she would go out every day and dig in the 
snow with a stick in the hope of finding her boys, until 
she got so sick that Washakie and some other Indians 
brought her home, where she lay for two months very 
near death from sorrow and exposure. 

As soon as she could walk she went up to the snowslide 
again. The warmer weather by this time had melted some 
of the snow, and she found the body of one of her boys 
partly uncovered. The wolves had eaten off one of his 
feet. She quickly dug the body out of the snow, and 
near by she found the other boy. She was too weak to 
carry them back to the tepee, and she couldn't leave 
them there to be eaten by the wolves, so she stayed all 
night watching over them. 

The next morning Washakie found her lying on the snow 
beside the bodies of her children. He took them up 
tenderly and carried them back to the village. The poor 
old mother was very sick after that. During this sickness 

My Indian Mother 41 

and delirium of grief, she dreamed that her youngest boy 
came back to her, and he was white. This dream put into 
her mind the strange notion that she wanted a white 

She was just getting well when the band of Indians 
she was with came into the settlement where I lived and 
found me. When they found that I could talk the Indian 
tongue, they decided that I was just the boy for the chief's 
mother. They asked Washakie about it. He would not 
let them steal me, but he said that if they could lure me 
away from home, it was all right with him. So they set 
to work, as I have told, and succeeded in tempting me to 
go away with them. 

My old mother also told me many things that happened 
when she was a little girl. She said that her father was 
a Shoshone, and her mother a Bannock. She said she 
was sixty-two "snows" (years) old when I came. She 
had had four children, three boys and a girl. When the 
girl was seven years old, she was dragged to death by a 
horse. Her two sons were killed by the snowslide, so 
Washakie and I were the only ones she had left. 

Her life, she said, had been filled with sorrow, but she 
was having better times now than she had ever had before. 
If I would stay with her, she would be happy once more. 
She said she had fifteen head of horses of her own. When 
she died she wanted Washakie and me to divide them be- 
tween us. She also wanted me, when she died, to bury 
her as the white folks bury their dead, as she thought 
that way was the best. 

She certainly was good to me, watching me night and 
day and doing everything she could for my comfort, and 
I tried to be good and kind to her in return, but some- 
times, boylike, I forgot. One night I was playing with 
the Indian boys. Our game was killing white men. With 

-i I 1/l^l/lXI 1/ 1_J\J 

J, E. Sttmsjn 
Death's Canyon, Teton Range, Jackson's Hole, Wyoming ; snow slide 
in ravine at left. 

iv±j ltiuiuu iviuuier 43 

our bows and arrows, we would slip up to the bunches 
of brush and shoot at them. If we clipped off a twig with 
the arrow, that was a scalp. We would stick it in our belts 
and strut about like big Injuns. 

While our fun was on, I heard mother call, "Yagaki, 
come in and go to bed." I paid no attention so she came 
out and said, "Why didn't you come when I called you?" 
"I didn't want to go to bed," I answered sulkily. With 
that she grabbed me by the collar and jerked me toward 
the tepee. I begged and promised, but she kept me 
going till she got me inside ; then she flung me down on a 
pile of blankets. 

"Washakie," she said, "you must do something with 
this boy. He won't mind me." With that she left the 
tent and I heard her crying outside. 

The chief looked at me a minute, then he said quietly : 
"What is the trouble between you and mother?" 

"Well, she won't let me play," I said ; "she makes me 
come in every night before dark. The other boys stay 
out ; I don't see why I can't." 

"Mother knows why," he said. "You should be good 
to her and mind her ; she is good to you — better than 
she ever was to me." 

Mother had come in again. "Yagaki," she said, 
"you must not stay out after dark. Those papooses 
might kill you. They have been trained to think it is an 
honor to kill a white man. If they could do it without 
being seen, they would just as soon put an arrow through 
you as not. I know what is best for you, Yagaki. You 
must come when I call." 

I always obeyed her after that, and we got along very 
well. She was a dear old mother to me. 

" I went flying toward the creek." 



As winter began to break up we got ready to move to the 
spring hunting grounds, but when we rounded up our 
horses we found that about fifty head of the best ones were 
missing. The Crow Indians had stolen them. Our 
Indians found their trail and followed them, but the 
Crows had so much the start that our braves could not 
overtake them. We never recovered our animals. 
Among the lost horses were six that belonged to mother 
and eleven of Washakie's horses. My little pinto was not 
missing, for I had kept him close to camp with the horses 
we had used during the winter. 

Our Indians were angry. They declared that they 
would get even with the Crows before another winter had 
passed. And I suppose they did it, for the two tribes were 
constantly stealing from each other. The Crows would 
steal every horse they could from the Shoshones ; and 
our Indians would do the same with them. It was as 
fair for one tribe as it was for the other. They would 
fight, too, every time they met. Each tribe was always 


The Crows 45 

on the watch to get the advantage over the other ; so we 
were in a constant state of excitement, and war dances 
were going on all the time. 

When we left our winter camp, we started south. After 
two days' travel, we joined another large Indian camp, and 
kept with them during our wanderings the rest of the 

For three or four more days we all traveled south again. 
The game was plentiful here, elk, deer, antelope, and 
buffalo, so we camped for several days and stocked up with 
fresh meat. Then we took up the trail again, this time 
going east till we came to a beautiful lake that was fairly 
alive with fish. Oh, how I did catch them ! 

It was a great game country, too. We could see buffa- 
loes at any time and in any direction that we looked. 
There were herds of antelope over the flats. I had great 
fun running them. Washakie said that I was riding my 
horse too much, that he was getting thin. He told me to 
turn the pony out, and he would give me another horse. 
I was very glad to let my little pinto have a rest and get 
fat again. 

The horse that Washakie gave me was a pretty roan, 
three years old, and partly broken. When the chief saw 
how well I managed my new horse, he said that I might 
break some other young horses for him to pay for the roan. 
That just suited me, for I liked the excitement of training 
wild horses. The Indian ponies were small, especially 
the colts that he wanted broken. I wanted to get right 
at it, but he said that I must wait till they got fat, so that 
they could buck harder. 

At this time we were not far from the Crow country. 
There was a dispute between the tribes about the boundary 
line that divided our hunting grounds from theirs. One 
day some of our hunters came rushing to camp badly 


The White Indian Boy 

The Crows 


scared. They said that the Crows were right on us. I 
never saw such excitement in my life. Everybody in 
camp was running about and talking excitedly. The 
bucks were getting ready to fight ; the horses were rounded 
up and driven into camp. It was a great mixup — horses, 
squaws, dogs, papooses, tepees, and bucks all jumbled 

The War Chief ordered the young warriors to go out 
and meet the Crows. The old men were left to guard 
camp. I started to get my horse. 

" If I am going to fight," I said, " I want my pinto pony." 

Mother stopped me, "Here, you little dunce," she said, 
"you are not going to fight. You couldn't fight any- 
thing. I don' t believe there is going to be a fight anyway. 
I have had too many such Crow scares." 

I wondered whether the Crows had wings like the crows 
in our country. She said that they were Indians like the 

By this time the squaws had everything packed and 

A Crow encampment (Crow Agency, Montana). 

48 The White Indian Boy 

ready to fling on to the horses that were standing about 
with their saddles on. The old bucks were gathered in 
small groups here and there talking all at the same time. 
But the excitement soon passed over ; for the warriors 
came back after a little while to tell us that it was not 
Crows at all but a herd of buffaloes that had caused the 
scare. I was rather disappointed, for I wanted to see 
some fun. I began to think that they were cowards — 
the whole bunch of them. But they were not. The 
next day a band of about fifty young warriors left for some 
place. I could not find out where they were going, but 
they seemed to mean business. 

For a while after this scare everything passed off 
peacefully. We fished and chased antelope, and one day 
I went with Washakie up into the mountains to kill elk. 
We had not gone far till we saw a large herd of these 
animals lying down. Leaving our horses, we crept up 
close to them. Washakie had a good gun, and at his first 
shot he hit a big cow elk. She ran about a minute before 
she fell. The chief told me to slip up and shoot her in 
the neck with my arrows till she was dead, then to cut 
her throat so that she would bleed freely; and to stay 
there till he came back. Well, I crept up as close as I 
dared, and shot every arrow I had at her. Then I climbed 
a tree. I guess she was dead before I shot her, but I was 
not sure, for I was afraid to go up near enough to see. 
Washakie followed the herd that ran down the canyon. 

T stayed up the tree for some time, then came down 
quietly and went up to the elk and threw sticks at her, 
but she did not move, so I plucked up courage and cut 
her throat. She had been dead so long that she did not 
bleed a bit. 

I waited and waited for Washakie to come back. After 
a while I began to get scared. I thought that the bears 

The Crows 


would smell the elk and 
finding me there would 
eat me up, so I put off 
to where we had left 
our horses ; but I could 
not find them. Then 
I started back to the 
elk, but I could not find 
it. I was so bewildered 
that I did not know 
what to do. The tim- 
ber was thick, and I was 
getting more scared all 
the time. I tried again 
to find our horses and 
failed. By this time the 
sun had gone down, and 
it was very gloomy 
among the trees. I 
climbed another tree 
and waited for a long 

time. I was afraid to call for fear of bringing a bear on 
to me. 

Afterwards, I learned that I had not left the elk long 
before Washakie came and took the entrails out of it, and 
as he did not see my horse, he thought that I had gone to 
camp. Before following the elk, he had tied my horse to 
a tree, but it had broken loose and run away. When 
Washakie reached camp, some Indians told him that they 
had seen my horse loose with the saddle on. He did not 
know what to do. Mother was frantic. She started right 
out to hunt me, and a big band of Indians followed her. 

A little while after dark I heard the strange noise they 
were making. I thought the Crows were after me ; so I 

A Crow Indian tepee. 

50 The White Indian Boy 

kept quiet, but pretty soon I heard some one calling — 
"Yagaki! Yagaki!" Then I knew that it was one of 
our Indians, so I answered him. In a little while there 
was a crackling of brush right under my tree. 

"Where were you?" he shouted. 

"Here I am," I said. 

"What were you doing up there?" he asked. 

"Looking for my horse." 

"Well, you won't find him up there," he said. "Come 
down here." 

I minded him in a hurry. 

"Now, get on behind me," he said; "the whole tribe 
is looking for you, and your poor mother is nearly crazy 
about you. It would be better for her if some one would 
kill you, and I have a notion to do it. It would save her 
lots of trouble." 

When he got out of the timber, he began to halloo just 
as loud as he could to let the rest know that I was found. 
Then I could hear the Indians yelling all through the 
woods. We reached camp before mother came in, and I 
wanted to go back to look for her, but Hanabi would not 
let me. She said that I might get lost again ; that I had 
given mother trouble enough for one night. 

It was not long before mother came. She grabbed me 
in her arms and said, "Yagaki, Yagaki, where have you 
been? I was afraid a bear had eaten you." She talked 
and cried for almost an hour. She blamed Washakie for 
leaving me alone and said that I should never go off with 
him again ; she would keep me close to her. 

The next morning I went with mother and another 
squaw to get the elk. Washakie asked me if I thought 
I could find it. I told him that I knew I could, so we 
started and I led them right to it. As we were skinning 
the elk, mother said that I had spoiled the skin by 

The Crows 51 

shooting it so full of holes. But the meat was fat and 

About ten days after this our band of young warriors 
came back. They had captured thirty-two head of horses, 
but one of our Indians had been killed in the skirmish 
they had with the Crows. One of the band told me all 
about their raid. He said that they went over to the head- 
waters of the Missouri River — Sogwobipa, the Indians 
called it. There they found a small band of Crow Indians, 
but the Crows had seen them first, and were ready for them. 
Just after dark our Indians tried to run off a band of Crow 
horses they had seen, but they were met with a shower 
of arrows and a few bullets which killed one of their party 
and wounded five or six of their horses. One horse was 
so badly crippled that he could not travel, so the rider 
jumped on to the horse belonging to the dead Indian 
and they all broke back as fast as their horses could carry 
them. They were chased by the Crows all night, but 
they finally made their escape. 

A few days after this as they were going through a 
range of mountains, they came suddenly upon a small 
band of Crows, killed two of them and took all their 
horses. They thought the whole tribe of Crows was 
following them, so they made a bee line for home. I 
thought it was pretty rough for about fifty to jump on a 
few like that, kill some and rob the rest of their horses. 
I think that Washakie did not like it either. When I told 
him that it was not fair, he said it was too bad, but that 
the Crows would have treated us just the same. 

The Indians were uneasy. They felt sure that the 
Crows would follow and attack us any minute, so we kept 
a strong guard out all the time. Washakie thought it 
best to get a little farther from the border line and in a 
more open country where they could watch the horses 


The White Indian Boy 















The Crows 53 

better. The Indians did not appear to value their own 
lives so much as they did their horses. 

I asked Washakie why it would not be better for the 
chiefs to get together, talk the matter over, and stop 
this stealing and fighting. He laughed and said that 
when I got older I might fix things to suit myself, but as 
things were going there, he had to be a little careful. 
Some of his men would rather be fighting than at peace ; 
and Pocatello was poisoning the minds of as many of the 
tribe as he could with the spirit of war, to draw them 
away with him. For his part, Washakie said, he would 
rather live at peace. 

The camp packed up and made a start from the open 
country. We made a long string of Indians, horses, and 
dogs trailing through the hills. For about a week we kept 
traveling southward along the river that came out of the 
beautiful lake until we reached another large stream. 
When these two streams came together, they made a 
very large river. It was the Piupa, or Snake River, which 
we had crossed before. We pitched our tepees by a 
stream that flowed into the north fork of this big river. 
It was not very wide, but it was deep and full of fish. 
We papooses had heaps of fun catching them. 

After we had been in camp here a few days, Washakie 
told me that I might begin breaking the colts. That was 
more fun for me. We caught one, tied it to a tree and let 
it stand there until it stopped pulling back, then we led 
it to water. We staked it out near camp and let it stay 
there to feed all night. The next morning I found that I 
could lead it alone to water, so I thought I would try to 
ride it. 

I was putting my saddle on it when mother said, "You 
had better ride it bareback." I told her that I could not 
stay on without my saddle, so she told me to do as I liked. 

54 The White Indian Boy 


*jm* j. 

- ■• "** JSB^bBm **• 

JW*^. ««* 

t#n*r| s 



qr? vJaff 

uf* 1 

$ ^ 

■ : 

Howard R. Drigyx 

Crow Indian ponies feeding among the sage. From a photograph taken 
near Custer battle-field, Montana. 

The colt, however, objected so strongly to being saddled 
that he came near getting away from me. 

"Put a blanket over its head, so it cannot see," said 

I tied the broncho to a brush, threw a blanket over its 
head, and mother helped me to tie it on. By this time 
about fifty kids had gathered around to see the fun. 
When the saddle was cinched, mother said, "Now get on 
and I will pull the blanket off its head." 

I mounted carefully and then said, "Let him go." Off 
came the blanket and away went the horse. He whirled 
and sprang into the air, coming down with his head be- 
tween his forelegs. I went flying toward the creek, 
and I didn't stop till I got to the bottom of it. When I 
crawled out and wiped the water out of my eyes, I could 
see that colt going across the prairie with my saddle under 
his belly and kicking at every jump. 

"Let him go," said my mother, as I started after him. 

I said I would ride that horse if I never killed another 

The Crows 55 

"How many have you killed?" she asked in surprise. 

"Not half as many as I am going to," I said. "And I 
have half a notion to start in on some of these black imps 
that are laughing at me." 

When I got some dry clothes on, a young Indian rode 
up on a horse and I got him to go and catch the colt for 
me. He brought the broncho back and helped me tie a 
strap around him so tight I could just put my fingers 
under it, then he held the colt while I got on him. 

When I said, "Let him go !" the colt leaped into a run 
and the young Indian followed after me, keeping it out of 
the brush and away from the horses that were staked 
around. The colt soon got tired and stopped running. I 
had a fine ride. After a while we went back to camp and 
I staked the colt out for the night. The next day I rode 
the broncho again, and very soon I had it well trained. 

It took mother and me some time to gather up my saddle, 
and when we got it together we could hardly tell what 
it had been in the first place ; but after about a week of 
mending, we made it a great deal stouter than it was. 
The next colt was not so fractious and I soon got so that 
I could ride any of them without much trouble. 

About this time we had another stampede. One night 
a guard came running into camp with the word that he had 
seen a big band of Crows coming. It was in the middle 
of the night, but all of the squaws and papooses were 
pulled out of bed and ordered to get into the brush and 
stay there till morning. I told mother that I would not 
go one step without my horse. She said that I could not 
find him in the dark, but I was certain that I knew right 
where he was, and off I put with mother after me calling, 
" Yagaki, Yagaki, come back, come back." I outran her, 
however, and happened to find my pinto. Jumping on 
it I dashed back to mother. She scolded me and told me 

66 The White Indian Boy 

that the Crows might have got me ; but I said I would 
have to see the Crows before I believed there were any 
within a hundred miles of us. 

The Indians, however, gathered up all their horses and 
stayed around them all night. Mother, Hanabi, and I 
went down to the river about a mile away to hide among 
the willows and trees with seven or eight hundred other 
squaws and papooses. They made such a racket with their 
excited talking and crying that no one could sleep. All 
of them expected to be killed before morning. 

But morning came and no Crows. The Indians were 
mad as hornets, or at least they acted that way. Washakie 
sent out some men to where the guard said he saw the 
Crows. They found that he had seen only a big dust and 
thought it was made by their enemies. I asked Washakie 
if he thought that there was any real danger of the Crows 
coming to attack us. He said that he did not think 
they would come to fight us in this place, but that they 
might try to steal our horses, or even attack small bands of 
our Indians if they ran on to them away from camp. 

Every once in a while after that we would have a Crow 
scare. If the Indians saw a cloud of dust, they thought 
the Crows were after them. They acted like a band of 
sheep that had been run by coyotes. Every little thing 
would scare them. It made me tired to see them so 
cowardly. I told Washakie that I did not think they 
would fight if they had a chance. 

"When are you going to send more Indians out to steal 
the Crows' horses ? " I asked him. 

"Why, do you want to go with them?" 

I told him that I had not lost any horses. 

"Well, we have," he said, "and we are going to get them 
back before snow flies. The War Chief will attend to that. 

I found out afterwards that Washakie meant business. 
He was no coward. 

I flung the lasso over his head and jerked him from his pony.' 



After this second Crow scare, things quieted down again. 
I kept on breaking colts, and whipping kids once in a 
while. One day while I was riding a wild colt, the boy 
whom I had kicked before for trying to see my sore legs 
began to act smart again. He was riding with other 
papooses along with me to see the fun, and every once in 
a while he would poke my pony with a stick to see him 
jump. I warned him once or twice to quit; but this 
only seemed to make him worse. 

I had a long rawhide rope around the colt's neck, and 
I made a noose in the loose end. When he punched my 
horse again, I flung the lasso over his head and jerked 
him from his pony. This scared my broncho and he broke 
into a run. Before I could stop him, I had nearly choked 
the life out of that kid. The blood was coming out of 
his nose and mouth and I thought that I had surely killed 
him ; but as soon as I loosened the rope, he began to bawl, 
and when he got up he put out for camp on the dead 
run, yelling and groaning as if he was being murdered. 


58 The White Indian Boy 

I started for camp, too, for I knew that things would be 
popping pretty soon. As he passed our camp, mother 
asked who had hurt him. "Yagaki!" he cried, running 
on to his mother. 

Before I got home, mother met me and asked, "What 
have you been doing, Yagaki?" 

"Trying to kill that blamed kid," I said. 

"Well, you have nearly done it this time," she said. 
"How did it happen?" 

I told her all about it. 

" It will cause another camp fight," she said. 

I turned loose the colt I was riding and started after 
my pinto pony. 

"Where are you going?" she asked me. 

"After my horse." 

"What for?" 

"Because I want him." 

When I had caught and saddled my pony I saw the 
boy and his father and mother with some more Indians 
coming towards our tent. I jumped on my horse and 
started oil'. Mother called to me to stop, but I kept on 
going. I thought that if they wanted to fight they could 
light; I was going to get out of it as fast as my pinto 
could carry me, so I went up the river and hid in the 
brush. After dark I heard the Indians calling "Yagaki, 
Yagaki," but I would not answer them. 

After a while the mosquitoes got so bad in the brush 
that I could not stay there, so when everything was still 
I crept out, but I did not know where to go or what to do. 
I sat down on a stump and tried to decide. I knew that 
there would be a racket in camp and I felt bad on account 
of mother, but I was not a bit sorry for the papoose I 
had hurt; just then I almost wished I had lulled him. 
I had some pretty mean feelings as 1 sat there on the 

Papoose Troubles 

But. Am. Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution 
Indian girls carrying water. 

stump. I was more homesick than I had ever been 

It was not a very pleasant situation, I tell you, to be so 
far away from home among a lot of Indians who were mad at 
me. I did not know but that they would kill me. I was 
worried ; but after thinking the matter over I decided that 
it would be better for me to go back and face the music. 

60 The White Indian Boy 

When I got near camp I met a lot of Indians that 
mother had sent out to hunt me. They said that Washakie 
was also out trying to find me. When I asked them what 
the Indians were going to do to me, they said that they 
would do nothing, that I had done what any of them 
would have done. I told them that I was afraid that it 
would start another camp fight, but they laughed and 
said it would not. This made me feel much better. 

When I reached camp, mother asked me where I had 
been. I told her and she said I was a foolish boy for 
running away like that. "Well," I said, "I thought it 
might stop another camp fight if I went away." 

It was not long before Washakie returned. He gave me 
a long talk, telling me not to run away any more but to 
come to him if I got into trouble again. He would see 
that I did not get hurt. I told him that I thought I had 
better go home, for I was always getting into trouble 
and making it hard for mother and him. He told me he 
would not let me go home for that, but advised me to be 
a little more careful, as I might have killed the boy. "A 
rope tied to a wild horse and around a boy's neck," he 
said, "is not much fun for the boy." 

"Well I forgot about the rope's being tied to the horse," 
I said, "the boy made me so mad that I did not know 
what I was doing." 

Washakie said that the boy's neck was badly skinned 
and that his father and mother were very angry about it, 
but that he would try to calm them. The other papooses 
who saw it thought that I did just right. The chief had 
a long talk with the boy's parents, and I heard no more 
about it, but I saw the boy wearing a greasy rag about 
his neck, and whenever I came near, he would look very 
savagely at me. 

The mosquitoes made us move from this camp. We 

Papoose Troubles 


--*> .>• 

%fc ** u -4. 'iV*-? «v" 

> 2^k" 

Albert Sc/Uectuen, Buzeman, Mont. 

A white-tailed deer. 

62 The White Indian Boy 

went east nearly to the Teton Peaks, where we found 
game plentiful and the streams full of trout. The valley 
with its river running north and south through the middle 
of it was beautiful. There was no timber on the banks 
of the stream, but it was bordered with great patches of 
willows from one to two miles wide extending for about 
twenty miles along it. The white-tailed deer were 
plentiful among the willows. I killed five while we were 
there and mother tanned the skins and made a suit of 
clothes for me out of them. The clothes were nice and 
warm. The Indians also killed a number of moose among 
the willows. 

Waskahie told me that his tribe had had a great fight 
with the Sioux Indians in this valley many years before 
when he was a small boy. He said that his people lost 
a great many of their best men. He took me all over 
the battle ground. 

We stayed in this valley about thirty days and I began 
again breaking colts. When I brought up the first one, 
mother said, "Leave your rope here." I told her I could 
not manage the colt without it. 

"Well, don't use it on any more papooses," she said, 
and I minded her. 

The Indians killed a great many elk, deer, and moose 
while in this valley, and the squaws had all they could 
do tanning the skins and drying the meat. I asked 
Washakie if he was planning to winter in this valley. 

"Oh, no," he replied. "The snow falls too deep here. 
After the buffalo get fat, and we kill all we want for our 
winter use, we will go a long way west out of the buffalo 
country, but where there are plenty of deer and antelope 
and fish. Some of the fish," he said, "are as long as you 

Berries were getting ripe, so we papooses would go with 

Papoose Troubles 63 

our mothers up in the hills and gather them to dry. It 
was ' great fun. One day, however, things got pretty 
exciting. We were in a canyon busy gathering the 
berries when all at once we heard a terrible screaming. 
Pretty soon there came a crowd of squaws and papooses. 
One was yelling, " A bear has killed my girl." 

I jumped on my pinto pony, for I was riding him that 
day, and started up through the brush as fast as I could 
go. When I got a little way up the canyon, where the 
brush was not so thick, I could see a bear running up the 
hill. I went a little farther and found the girl stretched 
out on the ground as if she were dead. Then I shouted 
as loudly as I could for some of the Indians to come back, 
but they had all gone. I tried to lift her on to my horse 
but she was too heavy for me, so I laid her down again. 
Then she asked me for a drink. I took the cup she had 
been picking berries in and gave her some water. Then 
she said she felt better. 

"Where is my mother P" she asked. 

I told her that they had all run down the canyon like 
scared sheep. Then I helped her to her feet. She was 
crying all the time, and she said that her head and side 
and arm hurt her very much. I asked her if she could 
ride. She said she would try, so I helped her up on my 
horse and led it until we got out of the canyon. Then 
she told me to get on behind her as she thought she could 
guide the horse. We had about four miles to go, so I 
climbed upon the pony with her. 

When we got in sight of camp we saw some Indians 
coming full tilt, and when they met us there was the 
greatest hubbub I ever heard. When we reached the 
camp the girl's mother came running up and threw her 
arms about the girl and acted as if she were crazy. She 
would have hugged me too if I had been willing. She 


The White Indian Boy 

A black bear. 

New York Zoological Society 

said that I was a brave boy. Mother came up and said, 
"Yagaki, I thought you had come down to camp ahead 
of me or I never would have come without you." 

"Oh, you were as scared as any of them," I said. 

"I know I was scared," she said, "but I never 
would have left you, if I had known you were still in 
the canyon." 

That night the girl's father and mother came to our 
tepee to see what I wanted for saving their daughter's 
life. I told them that I wanted nothing. 

"You are a good, brave boy," said her father. 

I asked her mother why she ran away and left the girl. 

"Well," she said, "I saw the bear knock my girl down 
and jump on her and I thought she was dead, and I 
thought the bear would kill me, then there would be two 
of us dead." 

The father said that the bears killed many people be- 
cause they tried to help the one that was first caught. 
He felt that it was better for the rest to run. I did not 

Papoose Troubles 65 

agree with him. I thought that everybody should help 
kill the bear even if they did run the risk of getting 

"Yes, you have already shown what you would do," 
said my mother. "You are a brave boy." 

"It was a brave act for a boy," said Washakie; "but 
we must not brag too much about Yagaki or he will begin 
to think he is a great hero. It is about time we went to 

The girl's mother told me that I might have her daughter 
for a wife when I got big enough ; but I told her she could 
keep the girl, I did not want her. 

The next day I wanted mother and the other Indians 
to go up the canyon after more service berries, but they 
wouldn't go a step. They had had bear scares enough for 
that time. The Indians left the bears alone unless they 
caught these animals in the open. 

One morning we saw two bears crossing the valley. 
About fifty Indians on horses started after them. I ran 
and got my pinto pony. When I came back for my 
saddle, mother asked where I was going. 

"To help kill those bears yonder." 

"No, you are not," she said. 

"Oh, let him go," said Washakie, and she consented. 
I jumped on the horse and started after the bears as hard 
as I could go. The Indians had headed them away from 
the timber and were popping arrows into them. My 
horse was not a bit scared so I ran up to one of the bears 
and shot three arrows into his side. 

"Keep back, you little dunce," shouted the Indians, 
"that bear will tear you to pieces." 

But the bear was too full of arrows to tear much. He 
looked like a porcupine with his quills on end. Very soon 
the two bears dropped dead ; but their skins were so full 


The White Indian Boy 

S. N. Leel, Jackson, Wyoming 
A baby elk in its hiding place. 

of holes that they were not worth much ; the meat was 
not much good either. 

That night the Indians had a big dance around the 
two hides. I joined in the fun and sang as loud as any 
of them. They thought I was pretty daring. One old 
Indian said, "The little fool doesn't know any better. 
If a bear once got hold of him he would not be so brave." 
But they gave me one of the hides and mother tanned it 
and sewed up most of the holes. It made me a very good 
robe to sleep in. 

While we were in this valley another small band of 
Indians joined us. The girl that had hit me with the 
fishing pole was with them. When she saw that the 
other Indians liked me so much, she wanted to make up 
with me. She came around several times before she 
said anything to me, but finally one day she walked over 
to where I was helping mother stake down a moose hide 
to dry and said, "Yagaki, I am sorry that I hit you that 
day with the fish pole." 

"lam not," I said. 

Papoose Troubles 


"Why?" she asked. 

"Because we had lots of fun that day." 

"Why don't you be friends with her?" mother asked. 

I said that I did not want to be her friend. 

"You are a mean boy," said mother; "you should be 

"Not much," I said ; but I did finally tell the girl that 
it was all right. 

Then she wanted me to go over to their tepee and 
play, but I told her that I was afraid her mother would 
cut my head off. 

"No," she said, "mother will not hurt you. She feels 
sorry for what we did to your folks, and so does my 

Well, we passed the trouble over and became pretty 
good friends after that. 

By this time we had gathered most of the berries that 
grew along the foothills; the squaws were afraid to go 
farther into the mountains after the bear excitement; 


A squaw tanning buckskin. 

68 The White Indian Boy 

so then they stopped berry picking and went to work in 
earnest tanning buckskin and drying meat for winter 
use. The Indians quit hunting for elk and deer; for 
they already had all of the skins that the women could 
get ready for the trading trip they had planned. 

It was the custom of the tribe to make a journey almost 
every fall to Salt Lake City, and other White settlements, 
and swap their buckskin and buffalo robes for red blankets, 
beads, ammunition, and other things they needed. Mother 
and Hanabi worked all day and away into the night to 
get their skins ready in time, and I helped them all I 
could. I got an old horse and dragged down enough 
wood to last while we stayed there. I carried all the 
water for them, and no kid dared to call me a squaw 

Finally the time came for us to begin killing buffaloes 
for our winter's supply of meat. We did not have to 
hunt them, however, for we could see them at any time 
in almost any direction. Many a time I went out with 
Washakie to watch the hunters kill the buffaloes. Washa- 
kie wanted only five and we soon got them ; but it took 
mother and Hanabi a good many days to tan their hides 
and get the meat ready for winter. 

" Three or four buckets of water came over me.' 



Nothing went wrong while we were getting ready for 
the long trip to market, and finally everything was in 
shape to pack up. Our camp by this time was very large, 
for Indians had been coming in every few days until there 
were fully a thousand of them, and there must have been 
as many as five thousand horses. When we took the 
trail, I could not see half of the long string of pack animals. 

We had twenty pack horses for our own family, loaded 
with buffalo robes, elk and deer skins, and our camp outfit. 
Washakie had a fine big tepee of elk hides made so it 
would shed rain. It could be divided in two parts. 
Sometimes if we were going to stop just one night, we 
would put up only half of it ; but if we made a longer 
camp, we would set up the whole wigwam. 

After we were well started, I noticed that the Indians 
broke up into small bands. That night there were only 
twenty-five tepees left in our camp. Washakie said 
that it was better to travel in small parties, for we could 
make better time and get better pasture for our horses. 

70 The White Indian Boy 

In two or three days we reached the big river where I 
had come near choking the papoose to death with my 
rope. It was quite wide and the current was very swift 
where we forded it. When we got in the deepest place, 
mother's horse stumbled over a boulder and fell, and 
away went mother down the stream; for she could not 
withstand the swift current. I saw her going and started 
after her, but I could not catch her until she was carried 
into the deep, quieter waters. My horse was a good 
swimmer, and I was soon at her side. I pulled her to 
the bank and tried to help her out of the water, but the 
willows were so thick at this place we had a hard time 
getting on land. Washakie hurried to the rescue. 

" You came nearly going to the Happy Hunting Grounds 
that time, mother," he said. 

Washakie thought that we had better stop there so that 
mother could put on dry clothes and get over her scare, 
for he was afraid it would make her sick. We pitched camp 
for the night by a grove of cottonwoods near the river. 

Just before dark an Indian came running in and told 
Washakie that the Crows had overtaken a small bunch of 
our Indians and had killed them and taken all their 
horses. Washakie ordered the War Chief to take every 
one of our warriors and follow the Crows clear into the 
Crow country if necessary to punish them. The War 
Chief told his men to get ready for a long trip, and the 
women and children to hide in the willows until they 
heard from them. I never saw greater excitement among 
the squaws and papooses than we had that night. They 
were bawling, and yelling, and rushing everywhere. 

"Come on, Yagaki," called mother, "let us get into 
the brush." 

"Not much," I said, "I am going with the warriors to 
kill Crows." 

A Long Journey 71 

Mother grabbed me by one arm and Hanabi by the 
other, and mother began to cry and say to Washakie, 

"Make him come ; make him come." 

Washakie laughed and said that I was just fooling, 
that I hadn't lost any Crows. He said that he was going 
to guard the camp. 

"So am I," I said. With that mother let me go. I 
ran and caught my pinto pony, put my saddle and a few 
buffalo robes on him and went with mother and Hanabi 
down the river. When we reached the rest of the crowd, 
I could hear the papooses howling like a pack of young 

"What is the use" of hiding and making such a racket?" 
I asked. "If the Crows have any ears they can hear 
this noise for five miles." 

Mother said that it made no difference for the Crows 
did not dare to come into the brush after us. 

"Are the Crows as big cowards as our Indians?" I 

She said that they were. 

"Then there is no danger," I said; "we had better go 
to sleep." 

It was not long before we heard Washakie call for us to 
come back. 

"There," I said; "another scare is over with no Crows 
at all. I shall never hide again." 

When we got to camp we learned that a few Crows had 
chased some of our Indians and had fired a few shots at 
them, but nobody had been killed, and not even a horse 
had been stolen. About fifty of our young warriors were 
following the Crows ; but I knew that they would never 
overtake them. 

The next day we packed up early and hit the trail 
pretty hard. For several days we headed south. We 


The White Indian Boy 

A Long Journey 73 

left the Piupa, or Snake River, and crossed over the 
mountains. Finally we came to a place called Tosaibi, 
which I learned later to be Soda Springs, in southeastern 
Idaho. We could not use the water of these springs, so we 
went on a short distance and camped on a good-sized river 
which the Indians called Titsapa ; this was the Bear River. 

They said that this stream ran into a big salt lake that 
reached nearly to my old home. That started me to 
thinking about my dear father and mother, my brothers 
and sisters I should like so much to see, and I could feel 
the tears running down my cheeks. Mother saw them 
and came and sat down by my side. 

"Yagaki," she said, "I fear you do not like to live 
with us." 

"Why do you say that?" I asked. 

"What are you crying about?" 

I told her that I was thinking of my white mother. 

"Am I not as good to you as your own mother?" she 

I told her that she was. But I could not help wanting 
to see my white mother and my people just the same. 

We followed down the Titsapa for one day's travel and 
there we stayed for three days. At this place part of 
our band was going to leave us and make the journey to 
Salt Lake City to sell our robes and buckskins and what 
furs we had. I wanted to go with the party, but mother 
would not let me. Hanabi and Washakie went. They 
took twelve pack horses very heavily loaded and also 
two young horses to sell if they got a chance. They left 
mother and me with the camp outfit and sixty-four head 
of horses to look after. Those that were not going to 
Salt Lake City intended to go off northwest and strike 
the head of another river, about four days' travel away, 
and stay there till the others returned. 

74 The White Indian Boy 

When mother and I went to packing up for our return, 
we found that we did not have pack saddles enough for 
all of our camp outfit. Besides our tepee, bedding, 
clothing, and utensils, we had sixteen sacks of dried meat 
and two sacks of service berries. This was too much for 
our eight pack-saddles. Mother said that we could get 
along if we had two more saddles so I told her to use mine 
for one and I would ride bareback. She did not like to 
do this, but she finally consented, and another boy let us 
have his saddle, so we packed ten horses. This took a 
good deal of time each morning. 

After three days of slow traveling we reached the head 
of a stream which they called Tobitapa ; the whites now 
call it the Portneuf River. There were fifteen squaws, 
about thirty-five papooses, and three old men Indians 
in our camp. 

Washakie thought it would take them fifteen days to 
go to Salt Lake City and get back to where we were. 
I asked mother whether she was not afraid that the Crows 
would come and kill all of us while they were gone. 

"No," she said, "the Crows never come this far south." 

Then I asked her why she did not want me to go to 
Salt Lake City with the others. She said that she could 
not take care of so many horses without me to help, and 
she was afraid, too, that the white men would take me 
away from her. 

"Is that the reason Washakie does not like to take me 
with him when he goes among the whites?" I asked her. 

She told me that Washakie said that if I ever got 
dissatisfied and wanted to go home, he would give me my 
horse and a good outfit, and see that I got home safe. 
"But," she said, "I hope that you will never want to go 
away, for I believe it would kill me if you should leave 
me." I told her not to worry because I thought that I 

A Long Journey 75 

should always stay with her. It always made her seem 
happier when I would tell her that. If she ever saw me 
look unhappy, she would turn away and cry. She did 
everything she could to make me happy, and I tried to 
be kind to her. 

Mother was afraid that I would get sick from not hav- 
ing bread and milk to eat, for I told her that was what I 
always had for supper when I was home. She thought 
that eating meat all the time would not agree with me 
and would make me unhealthy. Often she would have 
fried fish and fried chickens or ducks for supper. When 
I first went to live with her, she made a small sack and 
tied it to my saddle. She would keep this sack full of 
the best dried fish when we were traveling, so that I could 
eat if I got hungry ; for she said that I could not go all 
day without eating anything, as the Indians often did. 
Every morning she would empty my lunch sack and 
refill it with fresh food. She soon found out what I liked 
best, and she always had it for me ; so you see I had plenty 
to eat, even if I was with Indians ; and that is more than 
a great many white children had at that time. 

I was very healthy while I was with the Indians. I 
think the reason was thai I did not like their way of 
doctoring. When any 6i them got a cold, they would 
dig a hole two or three feet deep by the side of a cold 
spring. Into this hole they would put a few cobblestones. 
Then they would build a fire in the hole, get the stones 
right hot, and then scrape the fire all out. The sick person 
had to get into the hole with a cup of water, and after 
being covered with a buffalo robe, he would pour the 
water on the hot rocks and make a steam. This would 
make him sweat like sixty. When he had sweated long 
enough some one would jerk off the robe and he would 
jump into the cold water of the spring. As soon as he 


The White Indian Boy 

Dr. T. M. Bridges 
Indian sweat house covered ; fire in foreground. 

got out of the water, they would throw a buffalo robe 
around him, let him sweat awhile, then they would cool 
him off gradually by taking the robe off a little at a time 
while he quit sweating. He was then supposed to be 

One chilly day I was out hunting chickens, and was 
quite a distance from camp when a heavy rainstorm came 
and soaked me through before I could get home. That 
night I coughed and coughed so that nobody in our 
tepee could sleep. The next day mother wanted to dig 
a hole for me. I told her that I did not want a hole dug 
for me until I was dead. She begged me to take a sweat. 

"Not much," I said, "no more of your jumping into 
springs for me." I had not forgotten how they tried to 
cure my sore legs with a salt-springs bath. 

She said that it would not hurt me. But I told her 
that I was played out and I would not do it. 

"Well," she said, "you need not jump into the cold 

A Long Journey 


water/ The heat of the rocks and the steam from the 
ground will sweat you enough." 

"You had better do it," said Washakie, "before you 
get sick in bed." 

"All right," I said, "go to digging." 

Very soon she had the hole dug and everything ready, 
then she said, " Come now, pull off your clothes and get 
in here." 

"Pull off nothing," I said. 

"You must," she said. 

"Jerk them off," urged Washakie; "I will hold this 
buffalo robe over you so that you will not be seen." 

So off came my clothes and into the hole I went. I got 
over the rocks just the way an old sitting hen does over 
her eggs. Mother gave me a cup of water and I poured 
it over the heated boulders. She stood there to keep the 
robe over the hole and kept asking me if I was sweating. 
I told her that I was getting wetter than a fish ; but for 

Dr. T. M. Bridges 

Framework of an Indian sweat house. 

78 The White Indian Boy 

some cause she kept me for quite a while, then she jerked 
off the robe and whack ! three or four buckets of cold 
water came all over me. 'Oh, I jumped out of that hole 
in a hurry ! 

Washakie stood there with the robe, threw it over me, 
carried me into the tepee and put me to bed. Then 
he threw more robes over me, and how I did sweat ! It 
was rough doctoring, but it cured my cold all right. 

This was after Washakie and his party had got back 
from Salt Lake. They were gone twenty-two days in- 
stead of fifteen. Washakie had disposed of his robes and 
skins at a good price, and he had sold the two horses, so 
he came back pretty well outfitted for the winter. He 
had twenty-four blankets, a lot of calico, some red flannel 
for the tongues of moccasins, some underclothing for me, 
and about a peck of beads of all colors and sizes. The 
beads were to swap for tanned buckskin, and the blankets 
for buffalo robes. He brought me a butcher knife, a new 
bridle, two pounds of candy, and a lot of fishhooks. I felt 
"heap rich" and very happy. 

" Away we went to the bottom." 



Snow had already fallen on the mountain tops when 
Washakie got back, so he was in a hurry to get the camp 
moved to the winter range. Mother and Hanabi began 
at once to arrange the packs for traveling. We soon 
started for our winter quarters. 

We went down the Tobitapa (Portneuf) to the Piupa 
(Snake River), then up the Piupa, and then west over 
the divide on to the headwaters of Angitapa (Rock Creek). 
At this place we stayed six days and killed sixteen buffaloes, 
two for each family. That was to be the last killing of 
buffaloes until the next year. Washakie bought four of 
the buffalo hides from other Indians, which made six 
in all. He said that he wanted something for the women 
to do through the winter. 

When we started from here we went west over a big 
mountain upon which we had to camp in about three feet 
of snow. We had to tie up all our horses to keep them 
from running away, for we had nothing for them to eat. 
Early the next morning we were off and that night we 


80 The White Indian Boy 

got out of the snow, but it was still very cold. The next 
day we came to a beautiful stream. It was not very 
large, but it was fairly alive with mountain trout. We 
went down the stream two days' travel and there we 
stayed for about a month, I think. Washakie had in- 
tended to winter here, but he changed his mind and 
followed the stream farther down until he came to another 
river. I do not remember what the Indians called this 
river, but they told me that fish as long as I was tall came 
up the river in the springtime. We had a very |ood 
camping ground that winter. It was sheltered from the 
wind, but we had a great deal more snow than had fallen 
the winter before. 

About six hundred yards above our camp was a large 
grove of dry quaking aspens, mostly small poles. I told 
mother that if she would help me pile a lot of them, I 
would haul them down with the horses. She did not 
believe that I could do it, but she helped me gather the 
poles just the same. 

Washakie had brought from Salt Lake City the inch 
auger I asked him to get for me, so I went to work to 
make a sled like the one I had seen my father make. I 
got two crooked sticks for runners, pinned on some cross 
pieces, and soon had the thing ready. It did not look 
much like a sled, but it answered the purpose pretty well. 

I got up two lazy old horses of mother's, put on their 
pack saddles and tied ropes from the sleds to the pack 
saddles, then I mounted one of the horses and away we 
went for the grove. After putting on quite a few poles 
and tying them on with a rope, I took the load to camp 
without any bother at all. All of the Indians were out 
watching me bring in my first load of wood. 

"What cannot a white man do?" said the old War 

The Snowy Moons 


In a few days I had all of the wood we needed down to 
the camp. Hanabi said that I was as good as two squaws. 
After getting our wood up, I lent the sled to some of the 
Indians. They thought they could haul wood as well as 
I could, so they hitched up their horses and started out. 
But they went on higher up the hill where it was steeper 
than where I got my wood. Then they put on a big load 
and started down. The sled ran into the horses' heels, 
scared them, and they started to run. The horse that 
the Indian was riding broke loose from the sled, and the 
other horse ran away with the sled fastened to him, 
scattering the poles all over the side of the hill, and bolt- 
ing down through the camp. The sled jammed against 
the tepees and jerked three or four of them down. 
Then the frightened horse struck out through some 
cottonwoods, slammed the sled against the trees, and 
broke it all to pieces. 

Shoshone tepee with sagebrush windbreak. 

82 The White Indian Boy 

This discouraged the Indians. They said that the 
squaws could pack wood if they wanted any, that it was 
their work anyhow. That ended the wood hauling. 

I got the Indian boys to help me fix up th 3 sled again. 
We pulled it up on a hill with a horse and turned it towards 
camp. I wanted some of the boys to get on with me and 
slide down, but they were afraid. They said they wanted 
to see me do it first, so away I went. Then they came 
down with the horse and we pulled the sled up again. 
By hard begging, I got two of them, on the sled. As 
soon as we started, one jumped off, but the other stayed 
with me. When we reached the bottom, he said it was 
the finest ride he ever had. The next time several of 
the boys were ready to try it, and five of us got on. Away 
we went to the bottom. Oh, what fun we had ! It was 
not long till they all wanted to get on, and the heavier we 
loaded it, the faster it would go. When the track got 
slick, the sled would carry us nearly to camp. 

We kept this up for days. When the track was well 
made, we would pull the sled up without a horse. All 
of the big boys and girls joined in the coasting, and some- 
times the older Indians would ride too. The sled was 
kept going all the time, until we wore the runners out. 
After that for fun we turned to fishing and hunting chick- 
ens and rabbits. Sometimes we would go for antelope, 
but when we went for them, some of the older Indians 
would go with us to keep us from killing too many. The 
Indians were always careful to preserve the game. 

Everything went off peacefully this winter. There 
was no quarreling nor fighting. One young papoose 
and an old squaw died. We lost no horses. We were 
a long way from the Crows, so we had no Crow scares. 
I had a very good time, and mother seemed to enjoy the 
winter as well as I did. 

The Snowy Moons 83 

Along towards spring seven or eight of us little boys 
were in the cottonwoods shooting birds when one boy's 
arrow hit the side of a tree, glanced, and struck me in 
the leg. The boy was badly scared, for he thought I was 
going to kick him to pieces, but I told him to stop crying, 
that I knew it was an accident. He quit crying, and the 
other boys thought that I was getting to be a pretty good 
fellow after all, for before this they believed that if any one 
hurt me there would be a kicking scrape right away. 

Spring came at last. We moved down the river about 
fifteen miles where we could get better grass for our 
horses. Here were plenty of white-tailed deer and ante- 
lope, some elk, and a few mountain sheep. Ducks and 
geese also were plentiful. 

We stayed here until about the middle of May. The 
big fish they had told me about began to come up the 
river. And they'were really big ones ; two of them made 
all the load I could carry. They must have weighed 
thirty or thirty-five pounds each. Mother and Hanabi 
dried about two hundred pounds of these fish. I after- 
wards learned that they were salmon. The first that 
came up were fat and very good, but they kept coming 
thicker and thicker until they were so thin that they were 
not fit to eat. 

After a while we moved camp again, going down the 
river a little farther and then up a deep and rocky canyon 
where there had been many snowslides during the winter. 
We crossed over snow that had come down in these slides 
that was forty or fifty feet deep and was as hard as ice. 
There was not very much timber in the canyon, and the 
cliffs were very high. Years afterwards very rich gold 
mines were found in this place, a mining camp was started, 
and great quartz mills were built. 1 

1 Virginia City, Montana. 


The White Indian Boy 

Lee Moorhouse 
" The burden bearer " — Squaw carrying wood. 

As we left the canyon, we climbed a very steep moun- 
tain for about two miles, and then went down through 
thick timber until we came out on to a beautiful prairie 
covered with the finest grass I had ever seen. Off to 
the left was a deep canyon where one fork of the Big 
Hole River headed, and here we camped for a long time. 
The Indians killed a great many black-tailed deer and 
antelope and dried the meat. I think Washakie and I 
killed seventeen while we stayed here. 

Our next move was down to the forks of the river, where 
we stayed three or four weeks to give the women time to tan 
the deerskins. It was fine fishing in the Big Hole River. 

The Snowy Moons 85 

While we were staying here, one of the War Chief's 
boys was accidentally shot and killed. Oh, what crying 
we had to do! Every one in camp who could raise a 
yelp had to cry for about five days. I had to mingle my 
gentle voice with the rest of the mourners. They killed 
three horses and buried them and his bow and arrows 
with him. The horses were for him to ride to the Happy 
Hunting Grounds. When they got ready to bury him, 
every one in camp had to go up to him and put a hand 
on his head and say he was sorry to have him leave us. 
When it came my turn, I went into our tepee and would 
not come out. Mother came after me. I told her I 
would not go, that I was not sorry to see him go, for he 
was no good anyhow. 

"Don't say that so they will hear it," she said. Then 
she went back and made excuses for me. 

They took him up to a high cliff and put him in a 
crevice with his bedding, a frying pan, an ax, his bow and 
arrows, and some dried buffalo meat. After this they 
covered him with rocks. When they got ba^ck to camp, 
they let out the most pitiful howls I ever heard. I joined 
them too, just as loud as I could scream, as if I was the 
most broken-hearted one in the camp, but it seemed so 
foolish to keep up this howling, as they did for five days. 
I got so hoarse I could hardly talk. 

But I did feel sorry for his poor mother. She was 
really grief-stricken. She cut off her hair close to her 
head. I asked mother why she did that. She said that 
all mothers did it when their oldest boy died. After our 
mourning was over, she would still weep bitterly and 
sometimes scream out her sorrow. 

We next moved down the Big Hole River to where the 
town of Melrose is now situated. We stayed here for 
about two weeks, then went on till we came to where the 

The White Indian Boy 

The Snowy Moons 8? 

Big Hole empties into the Beaver Head Biver and forms 
the Jefferson Biver. 

Here we did nothing but fish. The buffalo were not 
fat enough to kill, and besides, we had all of the dried 
elk and deer meat we wanted. It was a beautiful place 
to camp, and we had the finest of grass for our horses. 

I broke a few more colts, two for mother and four for 
Washakie. Our horses by this time were getting fat and 
looking fine, but my little pinto was the prettiest one of 
all. Hardly a day passed but some Indian would try 
to trade me out of him. One Indian offered me two good 
horses if I would swap, but I thought too much of the 
pony to part with him even for a whole band of horses. 
He was just as pretty as a horse could be. 

Our next journey took us a long way northeast. 
Washakie said that we were going where the buffaloes 
were too many to count. After about a week of travel, 
we reached the north fork of the Madison Biver, about 
on a line with the Yellowstone Park ; and oh, the kwaditsi 
(antelope) and padahia (elk) and kotea (buffalo) there 
were ! Every way we looked we could see herds of them. 

While we were at this camp another boy was killed by 
a horse. He was dragged almost to pieces through the 
rocks and brush. 

When I heard of it, I told mother to get her voice ready 
for another big howling. 

"Aren't you ashamed to talk that way P " asked Hanabi. 

"I am afraid you are a hard-hearted boy," said mother. 

After the poor fellow was buried, we went up the 
Madison Biver about ninety miles and camped there for 
a month. The buffalo were now in better condition, so 
we killed a good many, drying their meat and making 
their hides into robes. Then we went on south and came 
to the beautiful lake where we had had such a good time 

88 The White Indian Boy 

the summer before. It is now called Henry's Lake, and 
is the head of the north fork of the Snake River. We 
did nothing here but fish, for we had enough dried meat 
to last till we reached the usual hunting grounds. 

^ ■■'■"->-~-^^£Ci:^ rT " i TO:^ r - 

The warriors went on and passed 

. out of our sight. 



We were now traveling towards the Crow country. I 
think our Indians were a little afraid that the Crows 
were going to try to stop them ; but Washakie said that 
he was going through if it cost him half of his tribe, for 
he was not going to be bluffed off his best hunting ground 
any longer. 

I thought something was up, because small bands of 
Indians kept joining us, until we had gathered about 
seven hundred warriors. We sent all of our surplus 
horses down the Snake River with Indians to guard them 
until we came back. Washakie and mother kept fifteen 
head for pack horses, and I kept two horses to ride. 
After the extra horses and packs had gone, we started 
for the disputed hunting grounds. 

The men all went out ahead, followed by the pack 
horses, with the women and children and old men in the 
rear. Mother warned me to keep close to her, for Wa- 
shakie said that the Crows might tackle us that day. 
I said that kind of talk was too thin. Rut we had not 


90 The White Indian Boy 

been traveling very long before one of our scouts came 
tearing back and said that he had seen where a very large 
band of Crows had passed, and had sighted smoke in 
the timber ahead. 

The men all stopped and bunched together. I heard 
Washakie tell them to go ahead, to keep a good lookout, 
and if the Crows pounced on them, to fight as long as 
there was a man left. I thought that they must be 
getting brave. 

We started again with the men in the lead as before, 
but riding very slowly. Six or eight Indians kept riding 
back and forth along our line to keep the squaws and 
pack horses from getting scattered. 

Pretty soon we stopped again and the War Chief 
ordered us to camp there for the night. "We know now," 
he said, "that we must fight or go back, and we have 
gone back so much that the Crows begin to think we are 
afraid of them. I feel that we ought to give them a 
lesson this time that they will not forget soon." 

"That is the way I look at it," said Washakie. "Now 
is the time to show them that we will fight for our rights." 

This seemed to be the way most of the warriors felt, 
for I heard them talking about it in their council that 

We camped right there, all in a bunch, with hardly 
room to make down our beds. A strong guard was sent 
to look after the horses, but the night passed off without 
any trouble. When morning came, ten men were sent 
to see if they could find any signs of the Crows. They 
were gone about an hour, when back they came and 
reported that about a thousand Crows were camped over 
the ridge just ahead of us. 

"We will go on to our hunting grounds," said the War 
Chief, "if there are ten thousand of them." 

The Fierce Battle 


The Indians painted up in grand style. They drew 
black streaks all over their faces to make themselves look 
fiercer, and then we got ready and started forward. We 
had not gone far when the squaws were ordered to stop. 
The warriors went on and passed over a small ridge out 
of our sight. 

Pretty soon we heard shooting, then an Indian came 
and told us to go back until we came to good water and 
stay there until we heard from the chief. "They are 
fighting now," he said. 

We had hardly reached the stream of water before we 
saw Indians come up on the hill and then disappear, 
then come in sight again. They seemed to be fighting 
fiercely, and they were yelling to beat Old Billy. They 
had not been fighting over an hour before half or two 
thirds of them were on top of the hill and slowly coming 
down the side towards us. 

The squaws began to cry and say that the Crows were 
getting the better of our Indians and were driving them 

A Shoshone brave (Fort Hall, Idaho). 

Dr. T. M. Bridges 

92 The White Indian Boy 

back. They kept coming closer and closer to us. When 
I looked around I saw that the squaws were getting their 
butcher knives ; they were ready to fight if they had to. 
Then I noticed that our men were not coming towards 
us any longer. I could see Washakie on his big buckskin 
horse dashing around among the Indians and telling them 
what to do, and very soon the driving turned the other 
way; they began to disappear over the ridge again, and 
I could tell that our Indians were beating the Crows. 

We could tell the Crow Indians from ours, for they 
had something white over one shoulder and under one 
arm, and they wore white feathers in their hair. There 
were about fifteen hundred Indians engaged in the fight 
on both sides, as the battle ground covered quite a piece 
of country. We could see a good many horses running 
around without riders. 

I believe that the squaws would have taken part in 
the battle if it had not been for the guard of about fifty 
old Indians that kept riding around us all the time to 
keep the squaws and papooses and horses close together. 

When our men had driven the Crows back to the ridge, 
they seemed to stick there ; but they were still fighting 
and yelling and circling around. It looked as if they 
could not force the enemy back any farther. I got so 
excited that I jumped on my horse and said to another 
Indian boy, "Come on, let's go up and see what they are 
doing and try to help them." 

Mother grabbed my bridle and said, "You crazy little 
dunce ; haven't you one bit of sense?" 

"I might kill a whole flock of Crows," I said, "for 
all you know." But she would not let me go, and I 
guess it was a good thing I did not. 

After about six hours of fighting, one Indian, badly 
wounded, came in and told us to go back to the lake, but 

The Fierce Battle 93 

not to unpack until we got word from the War Chief. 
We went back and when we got to the top of the divide 
we could still see the Indians fighting, although they 
were about two miles away, and we could see loose horses 
all over the prairie. The sun was nearly an hour high 
when we reached the lake. 

About dark half of our Indians came to us and the War 
Chief told us to unpack and put up the tepees, for 
very likely we should stay there for a while. He told us 
that about sundown the Crows broke and ran and that 
Washakie with the other half of our Indians was follow- 
ing them to try to head them off and keep them from 
getting away. Washakie thought that he and his warriors 
could stop them until morning, and then all of his band 
could attack them again. The War Chief sent twenty 
Indians with one hundred fresh horses to overtake the 
Indians that were following the Crows, for their horses 
had been on the go all day and were about worn out. 
He said that he had seen twenty-five of our Indians that 
were dead. How many more had been killed he did not 
know. Mother told them that they might take two of 
her horses and I let them have my roan pony to help 
them in their chase after the fleeing Crows. 

By this time three or four hundred squaws and 
papooses were wailing and moaning till they could be 
heard for two miles. I asked mother when our turn would 

"Do hush and go to sleep," said Hanabi; but there 
was not much sleep that night. 

When day came, I saw such a sight as I had never seen 
before. About one hundred Indians had been brought 
in during the night, all very badly wounded. Mother 
and I went around to see them. One poor fellow had his 
nose shot off and one eye shot out. He said he didn't 


The White Indian Boy 


Indian grave among the rocks, Utah desert. 

feel very well. Many of them were so badly hurt that 
I knew they could not live until sundown, and I thought 
about half of them would die that day. A few old Indians 
were sent over to the battle field to keep the eagles and 
wolves from eating the Indians that had been killed. 
The War Chief had been shot in the arm and in the leg, 
but was not very badly hurt. He had gone before I got 
up that morning and had taken with him all of the war- 
riors that were able to go. 

That night a little after dark all of our Indians re- 
turned. Washakie said that the Crows had gone into 
the thick timber from which he could not get them out, 
but that there were not many of them left anyhow. 
Our men brought in a very large band of Crows' horses 
and saddles and when they were unpacked I never before 
saw such a pile of buffalo robes, blankets, bows and 

The Fierce Battle 95 

arrows, and guns. The next morning we all started out 
for the battle ground to bury our dead and oh, what a 
sight! There were Indians scattered everywhere all 
over the battle field. The squaws and papooses wailed 
pitifully when they saw their dead Indians lying around. 
Wives were hunting for their husbands; mothers were 
looking for their sons. 

I went about picking up arrows. I had gathered quite 
a few when mother saw me with them. 

" Throw them down quick," she said, "the old Indians 
will come around and gather them. Don't touch any- 

"What do they want with them?" I asked. 

"They will keep them for another fight," was her 

The squaws scalped every Crow they could find. 

"Why don't you scalp our Indians and send their 
scalps to the Crows?" I asked her. 

"Go away," she said, "you don't know what you are 
talking about." 

Our Indians carried our dead to a deep washout in the 
side of the hill, put them in and covered them with dirt 
and rocks. The dead Crows were left to the wolves and 
the buzzards. 

That night when I got back to camp I was very tired 
and hungry, and I had seen so many Indians scalped that 
I felt sick and wished from the bottom of my heart that 
I was home with my kindred. 

About two hundred and fifty horses were captured 
from the Crows. Thirty-one Indians on our side had 
been killed and about one hundred wounded. Eighteen 
of these afterwards died from their wounds, making 
forty-nine in all we lost in that terrible fight. The Crows 
had suffered far worse than we did. The men sent out 

96 The White Indian Boy 

by Washakie to count the killed came back and reported 
that they had found one hundred and three dead Crows. 
Washakie thought this number would be increased greatly 
by those that died from their wounds. 

I began to change my mind about our Indians being 
cowards after seeing that fight. I have seen other fights 
between the whites and the Indians, but I never have 
seen greater bravery displayed than was shown by our 
Indians in this fierce battle with the Crows. 

We had to stay in this place about three weeks to give 
our wounded warriors a chance to get well. When we 
could move them, it was too late to go the rounds that 
Washakie had planned, so we began to get ready for 
winter. Our camp was moved over on the Angatipa 
(Rock Creek), and the hunters began to kill buffaloes 
while the squaws dried the meat. There were a good 
many widows and orphans now to take care of. The 
worst of it was the man who was best at cutting the ham- 
strings had been killed in battle, so we could not get 
on so fast with our hunting. However, we soon got all 
of the buffaloes that we wanted and the squaws began to 
make the hides into robes. 

Poor old mother and Hanabi worked very hard to get 
ours ready for the journey to Salt Lake. Washakie had 
a good many robes. Besides those he had got from 
hunting, he had bought a lot from other Indians, and he 
had his chief's share of those captured from the Crows. 
We had six packs of dried meat and our camp outfit 
made three more. Altogether it made so heavy a load 
that we could not travel very fast. 

When we got over the divide Washakie said that mother 
and I had better stay there with some of the others to 
take care of the extra horses. I did not like to do this, 
for I wanted to go to Salt Lake this time; but I would 

The Fierce Battle 


do anything that Washakie advised. He told us that 
we could come on slowly after them. 

When they started for Salt Lake, they took with them 
about thirty head of the Crows' horses to swap for any- 
thing they could get for them. After they were gone, 
there were one hundred of us left behind, mostly squaws 
and papooses and old and wounded Indians to take care 
of, besides six hundred head of horses. 

But. Am. Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution 
Chief Washakie (center) and two of his Shoshone braves (Wyoming). 

He said that it . . . would have to be cut off." 



After the trading party had been gone two days, the rest 
of our band moved down the creek to where it sank in 
the sand hills. Here three of the wounded Indians got 
so bad that we had to stop for some time ; but we had 
the finest of grass for our horses, and the sage hens were 
as thick as could be. 

One day I was out shooting chickens. I had killed 
four with arrows and was coming home, when, as I was 
passing a tepee, a dog jumped out and got me by the 
leg. He tore off quite a piece of my flesh and I shot him 
through with an arrow, leaving the feathers on one side 
of him and the spike sticking out of the other. As I was 
trying to catch the dog to get my arrow back, the old 
squaw that owned him ran up with a rope. She threw 
it over my head and jerked me along to her tepee. 
And there she held me while her girl tied my feet and 
hands. Then the angry old squaw grabbed a butcher 
knife and was going to cut my head off. 

A sick Indian, who happened to be lying near by, 


* Lively Times 99 

jumped up and held the squaw while a little boy ran 
and told mother. Mother came in double quick time. 
She grabbed the knife from the squaw, cut the strap 
that she had tied me with, took me by the arm, and made 
me hike for my tepee. When she saw how the dog had 
bitten me, oh, she was mad. She went back to the squaw, 
with me following her, and said : "If you don't kill that 
dog before sundown, I will kill you. Look here, see this 
poor boy with his leg nearly bitten off." 

The old Indians that had gathered around stopped 
the fracas, or I guess there would have been another 
camp fight. 

Mother went for the medicine man. When he came 
he said that it was a very bad bite, and that we must be 
very careful or blood poison would set in. He said that 
the dog would have to be killed. I told him that I thought 
the dog would die if they let him alone. 

"But he must be killed before he dies," said the medi- 
cine man. 

This made me laugh. 

The cut in my leg was "V" shaped, and the piece of 
flesh hung only by the skin. 

"Ouch !" I cried, when he tried to put it back in place. 

"What did you say?" he asked. 


"What is that?" 

"I don't know." 

"Oh," he said, going on with his work of patching up 
my leg. He put the piece back where it belonged and 
tied it there with a piece of something ; then he got some 
weeds, mashed them up and made a poultice and put it 
on the wound. 

After this he went to have the dog killed. I told him 
to hurry up or the dog would be dead before he got there. 

100 The White Indian Boy 

When the medicine main told any one to do anything, 
he had to do it. He sent a big boy to kill the dog, but 
when the boy got to the tepee, the old squaw and her 
girl pitched on to him and beat the poor fellow nearly to 
death. Then the medicine man sent two big Indians 
to see what they could do. When they reached the place, 
I could hear very loud talking, so I got up and went to 
the door to see the fun. One Indian had hold of the old 
squaw ; the other had the girl and they were shaking 
them to beat time. I was glad of it. They deserved a 
eood shaking. 

Well, they killed the dog before he died, anyway. 

When the camp had quieted down again, the medicine 
man came and changed the poultice on my leg. It had 
swollen very badly by this time. He told mother to 
boil sage leaves and with the tea to bathe my leg very 
often. I could hear mother crying while she was out 
gathering the sage, and when she came in I asked her 
what she was crying about. She said she was afraid 
that I should be lame all my life from the hurt. I told 
her that I should be well in a week, that a little thing like 
that would not make me lame very long; but my leg 
pained me so that I did not get much sleep that night. 

The next morning the squaw and her girl and their 
tepee were gone, but the sick Indian was left lying there 
alone in his bed. I told mother to let him come into our 
tepee and stay until his squaw got back. She had 
gone with Washakie to sell her robes and skins, and had 
left her sister-in-law to take care of her wounded hus- 
band until she returned. Mother objected to taking 
care of him, but when I told her he had saved my life by 
keeping that old squaw from cutting my head off, she 
consented and asked him to come over to our tepee. 

The poor old fellow was very sick and so weak he could 

Lively Times 101 

hardly walk. He had been shot three times with arrows 
— in the arm, in the leg, and in his side. The wound in 
his side was so bad that the medicine man had to take 
out part of his two ribs. It kept the medicine man busy 
tending to me and all of the wounded Indians. 

Mother bathed my sore leg three times a day with 
sage tea; the swelling all went away, and I was getting 
along fine. In about a week I had mother get me some 
sticks and I made some crutches ; then I could get around 
out of doors. When the other lame Indians saw how 
well I could move about, they had me make them crutches 
also, so that they could move about. 

After staying here nearly two weeks, we had to move, 
for the wood was getting scarce close to camp. I hobbled 
around and helped mother pack up ; then we went over 
through the sand hills and came to a good-sized stream 
which they called Tonobipa. The stream ran south 
through the sand hills and lava beds, and farther down it 
sank out of sight into the ground. 

The sick Indians had a hard time while we were on 
the move, but I stood the trip very well. After staying 
in our new camp for four days, we packed up again and 
started for the place where we were to meet Washakie. 
That was five days' travel away. We could not travel 
very fast on account of the sick Indians and we could 
not get a very early start because of having so many 
horses to pack, so it seemed a very long journey. 

One day we had to make a twenty-five-mile ride to 
reach water. That day was too hard on our sick. We 
were obliged to leave two of them in the sand hills, while 
we pushed on to the Piupa. One old Indian carried water 
back to them. It was way after dark when we got to 
the river. Oh, how tired I was, and how my leg did hurt 
before that day's travel was over. I was glad to get a 

102 ' The White Indian Boy 

good drink of water and to lie down to rest. My leg 
hurt so much that mother would not let me do a thing. 
She unpacked all the horses and put up the tepee 

The medicine man came to take care of my leg. When 
he unwrapped it to put on another poultice, he found 
that it had turned black. He said that it had begun to 
mortify and would have to be cut off. Then mother 
began to cry so hard that the whole camp heard her, and 
several Indians came up to see what was the matter. 
She told them that her poor boy must lose his leg. 

"Not by a blame sight!" I said. Then I told the old 
medicine man to pike away to his tepee and not to 
come back any more. Mother cried harder and begged 
him not to go. She said that I was out of my head and 
did not know what I was saying. 

"Yes, he does," said the old rascal, "and I do not care 
if the little white devil does die." 

"I know you don't," I replied ; "if you did, you would 
not want to cut my leg off. I know very well what I am 
saying," I told him; "now you get, and mighty quick, 
too, or when Washakie comes I'll have him cut both your 
legs off." 

Away he went as mad as fire. When he had gone 
mother said, "Now you have run the medicine man off, 
you will die." 

"Not half so quick as I would if he kept putting his 
poisoned poultices on my leg," I said. "I should have 
been well long ago if he had left me alone. He has been 
trying tp kill me ever since he began to doctor me. I am 
not going to let him do anything for me any more." 

Mother gathered more sage and bathed my leg. The 
poor old woman worked with me nearly all night, and the 
next morning my leg was better, but I could not move it 

Lively Times 


American Museum of Natural History 
The sage hen or sage grouse, a beautiful Western bird that should be 


without a great deal of pain. Mother said that we should 
not leave that place until I got well even if it took all 
winter. The next morning, when mother got up she 
said she dreamed that Washakie came and killed a sage 
hen and put the entrails on my leg and it cured it right 
away. I told her to keep right on with sage tea, and I 
thought it would be all right soon. 

After we had been here a few days, some of the Indians 
wanted to go on to the place where we were to meet 
Washakie; but mother said she would not move until 
I got better, so five tepees stayed with us and the rest 
went on. Washakie and his party were at the rendezvous 
waiting for them. When they told him how I was, he 
started out, and in two days he reached our camp. 

The chief was very angry when he saw my leg and was 

104 The White Indian Boy 

told how I had been treated. It was bad enough, he 
said, to be bitten by a dog without having the squaw 
threaten to kill me. He said that she would have to 
leave the tribe. When I told him how the old medicine 
man had acted, he was angrier still. 

The chief had left his things in bad shape ; he wanted 
to go back as soon as I could be moved. Itold him I 
thought I could travel, so the next morning we packed 
up for the start ; but as I went to get on my horse it hurt 
my leg so much that I began to cry. 

"Hold on," said Washakie, "I will fix things so you can 
ride better." Then he and some more Indians tied some 
tepee poles on each side of two horses and wove some 
rope between the poles, making a kind of litter. Several 
buffalo robes were thrown on the rope net and this made 
a fine bed. Mother led the front horse and away we went 
in first-class style. After we got going, Washakie came 
up and asked me whether they were traveling too fast. 

"No," I said, "you can run if you want to." 

He laughed and said that I was all right. 

That day mother got some boys to shoot some sage 
hens for her. They killed three and when we camped 
she put the entrails on my sore leg. I slept well that 
night. It was the first good sleep I had had for more 
than a week. As we traveled along, mother took good 
care of my leg in this way and by the time we got to the 
main camp I could walk again on my crutches. 

The next morning after we arrived here, Washakie 
told the War Chief to send down the river for the best 
medicine man in the tribe. I told Washakie that I would 
not let any more of his medicine men fool with my leg. 
He said that he only wanted him to see it. That day the 
good medicine man came, and when he saw my leg, he 
shook his head and said that it was a wonder I was alive, for 

* Lively Times 105 

the old medicine man had been putting poison weeds on it, 
and if he had kept it up two days longer I would have 
been dead. 

Washakie sent for the old medicine man. When he 
came the chief asked him, "What have you been doing 
with this boy ? " 

He said that he had been doing all he could for me. 

"I don't want any more of your lies," said Washakie. 
"If this boy had died, I would have had you tied to the 
tail of a wild horse and let him kick and drag you to death. 
Now, go, and don't let me see you any more, for you are 
hated by every Indian, squaw, and papoose in this camp." 

We stayed in this place till my leg got nearly well, 
then we moved on down the river to stop for the winter. 
Here the fishing was good, and the white-tailed deer, 
ducks, and rabbits were very plentiful. 

I used to like to watch him make arrows." 



During the time that I was disabled and had to stay in the 
tepee, my old friend, Morogonai, would come and talk 
to me for hours. He told me all about the first white men 
he ever saw. It was Lewis and Clark. When they made 
their trip across the continent, this old Indian had sold 
them some horses, and had traveled with them for about 
ten days, catching fish and trading them to the whites 
for shirts and other articles. 

Old Morogonai was respected by all the tribe. He 
had once been a chief among the Shoshones, but now 
that he was too old to lead the Indians, he became an 
arrow-maker for them. 

I used to like to watch him make arrows. It takes 
skill to make a good one. Our Indians generally used the 
limbs of service-berry bushes for this purpose. They 
would cut a great many of these and leave them for a 
year to dry thoroughly. Old Morogonai would take a 
bundle of these seasoned limbs and draw each one through 
a hole in an antelope horn to make it perfectly straight. 


* Old Morogonai 107 

Then he would crease each shaft, and after this he would 
feather them and put on the steel spikes. In earlier times 
they used flint heads, which they had chipped into shape. 
If the arrow was for long-distance shooting, the feathers 
were made heavier than the spike ; if for short distances, 
the spike was made heavier so that it would bring the 
arrow down more quickly. 

The bows were sometimes made of mountain sheep 
horns, which were thrown into some hot spring and left 
there until they were pliable. Then they were shaped, 
and a strip of sinew was stuck on the back with some 
kind of balsam gum that was about as good as glue. This 
made a powerful bow. Not many Indians had this kind ; 
most of our Indians used bows made from white cedar 
strung with sinew along the back. 

For other weapons, the Indians had spears made of 
small pine-tree shafts about twelve feet long and a steel 
spike about four inches in length. When they were not 
using their spears, they would take the spike off the shaft, 
sharpen it, and keep it in a little buckskin scabbard. They 
traded with the whites for knives and tomahawks and 

Old Morogonai told me many things about his experi- 
ences with the white man. He was not unfriendly 
towards them, but he felt that they had often mistreated 
the Indians, and caused a good deal of unnecessary suffer- 
ing and trouble for both the red men and the whites. 

"At one time," he said, "an emigrant train, on its way 
to Oregon, camped at Humboldt Springs. Some of 
Pocatello's Indians went to the camp to swap buckskins 
for flour. The white men took three of their squaws and 
drove the rest of the Indians away. That made the 
Indians mad. They gathered a large band of Indians, 
followed the train, and killed every one of the white men 

108 The White Indian Boy 

in it. Then they took all their stock and clothing and 
food and weapons, and afterwards set fire to the wagons." 

"At another time," he said, "some mail carriers drove 
a band of fine big horses up to my camp of Indians and 
asked me to take care of the animals for them for two 
moons, then they would come and give us fifteen red 
blankets. They had stolen the horses from an emigrant 
train. We did not know this, however, so we agreed to 
take care of the animals for them. 

"In a few days the emigrants found the tracks of 
their horses around our camp and thinking we had stolen 
them, they began to shoot before they gave my Indians 
a chance to explain. After shooting seven of my braves, 
they rode off, driving with them not only their own horses 
but some of ours. 

" I was away at the time with most of my men. When 
I returned, I found my oldest boy and five other Indians 
dead and another dying. I gathered what was left of 
my band and that night we set out in hot pursuit of the 
whites ; but it was eight days before I got a chance to 
get even. There were a good many men in the camp and 
they kept a strong guard at night. On the eighth night 
it grew very stormy, we skipped in through the darkness, 
stampeded their horses, and got away with twenty-two 
of them. The whites followed us, and they would have 
overtaken us, if we had not run into a large camp of Poca- 
tello's Indians. We did not stop, but kept right on going. 

"When the emigrants came up to Pocatello's band, 
they pitched into these Indians without waiting for 
explanations. A big fight followed and men were killed 
on both sides, but the Indians finally got the worst of it. 
The best of it was that we got away with the horses. 

"After we got back to the main tribe, Washakie hap- 
pened to hear about the trouble and he sent for me. I 

Old Morogonai 


Dr. T. M. Bridges 

"Old Ocean" (at right), one of the Lewis and Clark Shoshone guides. 
This picture was taken about 1885, when the noted Indian guide was 
more than one hundred years old. 

told him the full story. He said that he did not blame 
me; but it was a bad scrape and he did not want any 
trouble with the whites. 

"He advised me to keep away from the road where the 
white men travel, and have nothing to do with them ; 
'for,' said he, 'they have crooked tongues ; no one can be- 
lieve what they have to say.'" 

"We did not know," said the old arrow-maker, "what 
whooping cough, measles, and smallpox were until the 
whites brought these diseases among us. A train of emi- 

110 The White Indian Boy 

grants once camped near us ; some of their white papooses 
had the whooping cough ; our papooses caught it from 
them. Our medicine man tried to cure it as he would a 
bad cold, and more than half of our papooses died from 
the disease and the treatment. Hundreds of our people 
have been killed with the smallpox brought to us by the 
white man. 

"The white men keep crowding the Indians that are 
east of here out west, and they keep crowding us farther 
west. Very soon they will have us away out in Nevada 
where there is nothing but lizards and snakes and horned 
toads to live on. If they crowd us farther than that, we 
shall have to jump off into the Great Water." 

When Old Morogonai was telling me these and other 
tales about the cruel wrongs the Indians have suffered 
from the whites, I was not prepared to sympathize with 
him as I can now. But I have seen so much since on both 
sides that I am sure he told me the truth. Most of the 

Bur. Am. Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution 
Family of Bannock Indians of Pocatello's tribe, about I860- 

Old Morogonai 


Shoshone and Bannock Indian relics collected by Dr. T. M. Bridges. 

trouble between the whites and the Indians has been 
caused by the white men, who had not white hearts; 
they did not treat the Indian fairly. 

I know that the Indians were a treacherous and revenge- 
ful people. They always demanded a life to pay for a 
life, and they would often do bloodthirsty things. But 
the whites were mostly to blame. If they had been fair 
with the Indians, and treated them kindly, instead of 
taking mean advantages of them, the Indians would have 
been kind and friendly. I cannot blame the Indians as 
much as some do. They were good friends to me, and most 
of them have peaceful hearts. 

" The War Chief asked me some more questions." 



Our winter camp was a very beautiful place with plenty 
of game and an abundance of good dry wood. We had 
nearly everything that was needed to make us happy. 
My leg and all of the sick Indians got well, and we were get- 
ting along finely when one day some of Pocatello's Indians 
came to our camp. 

That night Washakie called a council of the tribe to 
meet in the War Chief's tepee. I thought this strange, 
for he had always held his councils in our tepee. The 
next morning they held another council, so I thought I 
would go over and see what it was all about. But when 
I got to the door of the council tepee, I met an Indian 
who told me to run back, that they did not want me in 
there. This puzzled me, for I had never before been 
sent away from the councils. 

When I got back to our tepee, mother and Hanabi 
were both crying. I knew then that something serious 
was up, but they would not tell me a word about it. 


The Big Council 113 

I thought that Pocatello's Indians wanted Washakie ,to 
help them in some bloody affair with the whites. 

Things went on in this way for four days. The Indians 
kept on holding councils, but I could not learn what was 
the ;ause. I saw other squaws come to our tepee, but 
when I came near them, they would stop talking. This 
made me think that the trouble had something to do with 
me, and I worried a good deal about it. 

On the fifth morning Washakie sent for me. I went 
and found about fifteen Indians at the council. The War 
Chief first asked me how old I was. 

"About fourteen years," I answered. 

" How old were you when you left home ? " he went on, 

"Nearly twelve." 

"Were you stolen away or did you come to us of your 
own accord?" was his next question. 

I told him that I ran away ; nobody forced me to come ; 
but two Indians coaxed me and gave me my pinto pony. 

He then told me that I might go. When I got back to 
our tepee mother and Hanabi wanted to know what 
had happened, and I told them. 

That night the council was continued in Washakie's 
tepee. The War Chief asked me some more questions. 
He wanted to know how the Indians treated me, and why 
I ran away from home. 

I told him that I had been treated just as well by the 
Indians as I had ever been treated by the whites, and that 
I ran away because I was tired of herding sheep alone. 
Besides, I wanted the pinto pony and the only way I could 
get him was to go with the Indians, so I went. 

"Have the Indians kept their promises with you?" 
the War Chief asked. 

"They have done everything they said they would 
do," I told him ; "I haven't any fault to find with them." 


The White Indian Boy 

% The Big Council 115 

Washakie then said that he had told the Indians they 
might offer me the pony if I would come ; but they were 
not to force me away from home. "So when he came," 
the chief continued, "we gave the squaw who owned the 
pinto four colts for him. I gave her a yearling, mother 
gave two others, and Morogonai gave one. We never 
told the boy that he could have the pony ; but we all 
understood that it belonged to him. Afterwards I gave 
him another horse for breaking some colts for me." 

The War Chief asked me whether I would rather live 
with the white people or the Indians. I told him I would 
sooner live with the Indians. With that the council 
broke up and the Indians went to their various tepees. 

"What does all this mean?" I asked Washakie. 

"You will know in the morning," he replied. 

"If they intend to take my pony away," I said, "I will 
skip out in the night." 

"They are not going to do that," said my mother; 
"whenever you go, that horse goes with you." 

We all went to bed that night wondering what would 
happen next day. It was a long night for me, for I did 
not sleep much. 

Morning came at last, and after breakfast the War 
Chief with several other Indians came to our tepee. 
With them were the Pocatello Indians. When they were 
all inside the tepee, Washakie told me that these In- 
dians had been down to the place where my people lived ; 
that my father said I had been stolen by the Indians; 
that he was raising a big army to come and get me ; and 
that he was going to kill every Indian he could find. 
Washakie asked me what I thought about it. I told him 
that it was not so. 

"In the first place," I said, "my people do not want to 
fight the Indians ; and besides, if my father had been com- 

116 The White Indian Boy 

ing after me he would have come long before this. I 
don't believe one word of it." 

Washakie was of the same opinion as I was. 

Then one of Pocatello's Indians said he had just come 
from Salt Lake City and many people there had asked 
him whether he knew anything about the boy that had 
been stolen from the whites. He said that all through the 
white men's towns they were getting ready to fight, and 
he knew that they were coming to get me. 

"I know they are not," I said, "for I have heard my 
father say many times that if any of his boys ran away he 
should never come home again ; besides, my father has 
an old Gosiute Indian living with him who knows all 
about my running away." 

Washakie said that it did not look reasonable to him that 
they would wait so long and then come to hunt the 
boy, especially at that time of the year. 

This made the Pocatello Indians angry. "All right," 
they said; "believe that white boy if you would rather 
than believe us ; but if you get into a fight with the white 
men, you need not ask us to help you." 

Washakie said that he was not going to have any 
trouble with the whites if he could avoid it. 

"No," they said, "you are too big a coward to fight 
anything"; and off they strutted as mad as hornets. 
As they went out they said to one of our Indians that 
they would like to get that little white devil out in the 
brush and they would soon have another white, curly- 
headed scalp to dance around. 

When the council met again that night, they did not 
have much to say ; they all appeared to be in a deep study. 
After a little while Washakie said he thought it would be 
a good thing to send some of our Indians to the white 
settlements to find out what was going on. 

The Big Council 117 

"That is the best thing to do," said old Morogonai; 
"but who will go?" 

"It will not be hard to get men enough to go," said 

The War Chief said it would be better for the white 
boy to go himself and end all the trouble ; for if his folks 
were coming after him, that would stop them and settle 
the dispute. Nearly all of the council agreed with the 
War Chief. 

Washakie asked me what I thought about it. I told 
him that I did not know the way home and I would not go. 

"If the council decides that it is the wisest plan for you 
to go," said the chief, "we will find a way for you to get 
home safe." He then asked each member of the council 
what he thought about it, and all were of the opinion that 
it was the best thing to do. 

Mother talked and cried a great deal. I do not remem- 
ber all she said, but I know that she begged them to send 
some one else. Washakie was silent for a long time, then 
he said that I had better go ; that he would send two of 
his men with me to the nearest white town and then I could 
get home myself. 

"I want you to go home," he said, "and when you get 
there, tell the truth. Tell your father that you came to 
us of your own accord ; and then if you want to come 
back, we shall be glad to have you come and live with us 

"All right," I said, "I will go home if you want me to, 
but I will not stay there." 

How mother did take on! It seemed as if it would 
break her poor old heart, and Hanabi took it very hard, 
too. I told them not to feel bad, for I would soon come 

In a few days, I was to leave, so we began to get ready 

118 The White Indian Boy 

for the journey. Hanabi and some other squaws set to 
work to make my clothes, and they soon had enough to 
dress me in first-class Indian style. The Indians gave me 
so many buffalo robes and buckskins that one horse could 
not carry them ; so Washakie said that I might have one 
of the horses they had captured from the Crows. 

When the two Indians that were to go with me said 
they were ready, we packed up. I had in my pack seven 
buffalo robes, fifteen large buckskins, and ten pairs of very 
fine moccasins. It was a bulky load, but not very heavy. 
Just as I was leaving, the little boys gave me so man^ 
arrows that I could not get them all in my quiver. 

" She knew me the moment she saw me." 



When we started to leave the village, how my mother 
did cry ! I tried to comfort her by telling her not to feel 
bad, for I should soon be back. Little did I think it would 
be the last time I should see her, for I fully intended to 
return that fall. 

We took plenty of dried meat with us to last us through 
the trip, and away we went. On the fourth day, at noon, 
we came to a place on the Bear River about twenty miles 
north of Brigham City, Utah. We stayed there the rest 
of the day to give our horses a little rest. The two Indians 
said that they would go no farther, for I could find the 
way from there very well. 

The next morning they helped me pack my horses and 
put me on the right trail, telling me not to ride too fast, 
for I could get to the white settlement long before night. 

As I left them I said, "You may look for me back in 
a few days." 

"Don't try to come back this fall," they said, "for it 
is getting too late to cross the mountains, and we may 


120 The White Indian Boy 

have a big snow at any time now. It will take you six 
days to get home from here, and that will make it too late 
for you to return. You had better stay home this winter. 
The Indians will be there next summer. You can come 
back with them." 

About noon I came to some warm springs. I thought 
it would be a good idea to wash my face and hands as I 
had not done it very often for the past two years. I saw 
that I had plenty of time, for the sun was high, so I un- 
packed and staked my horses and went to work to give 
myself a good scrubbing. I ran my fingers through my 
hair to get the snarls out, but after all my fussing I could 
not see that I looked much better. 

My hands were like an Indian's and my costume was in 
the latest Indian fashion. My leggings were trimmed with 
new red flannel, my shirt was of antelope skins, and my 
frock of heavy buckskin, smoked to a nice reddish hue, 
with beads of all colors in wide stripes down the breast 
and on the shoulders, and fringes all around the bottom 
that reached nearly to my knees. My cap was made of 
rawhide, with notches all around the top, and looked like 
a crosscut saw turned upside down. It came to a peak 
in front, and mother had put a crown in it with muskrat 

After I had scrubbed off all the dirt I could, I packed up 
and started again. I could see the little town long before 
I came to it. At the first house I reached a man had just 
driven up with a load of hay. When I asked him where I 
could find a place to camp, he told me to stay at his place 
if I wanted to, that he had plenty of hay, and I was wel- 
come, so I took him at his word. Unpacking my horses 
I tied them under the shed and fed them. By that time 
the man came out and said that supper was ready. I told 
him that I had plenty to eat and would rather not go in. 

Homeward Bound 121 

"Come and eat with me," he insisted, and taking me 
by the hand, he led me into the house. 

The women and children stared at me so hard that I 
felt uncomfortable. The children would look at me, then 
turn to one another and laugh. 

"I suppose you would like to wash before you eat," 
said the lady. She gave me some water and soap. It 
was the first soap I had seen for two years. After I had 
washed, she told me to sit down at the table. 

" Don't you take off your hat when you eat P " the man 

"No," I said. 

"Will you please take it off here ? " 

I pulled it off. 

They had bread and butter and potatoes and gravy and 
milk — the first I had seen since I left home. But I was 
mighty glad when I got away from that table. 

I went out and watered my horses and gave them some 
more hay. By this time it was dark, so I made my bed 
and turned in. Just as I was getting into bed, I saw this 
man go down town and pretty soon he came back with 
three more men. I saw them go into the house. Shortly 
afterwards he came out and said that the bishop was in the 
house and would like to have a talk with me. I told him 
that I did not want to talk ; but he kept at me until I got 
up and went into the house. 

The bishop said his name was Nichols, or something 
like that; then he added, "I see by your dress that you 
have been with the Indians." 

I told him that I had lived with them for a year or two. 

He said that he had read in the papers about a little boy 
running away with the Indians, and he thought I might 
be that boy. 

"Maybe I am," I said. 

122 The White Indian Boy 

"To what tribe do you belong?" 

"Washakie's tribe." 

"I have heard," he said, "that Washakie is a chief 
among the Shoshones and that his tribe is friendly to the 
white people. What do you know about them?" 

"Washakie's band," I replied, "are good Indians. I 
have heard the chief say many times that he was a friend 
to the people of Utah, that he had seen their big chief, 
who was a very good 'tibo.'" 

"What is that?" he asked. 

"Oh, I forgot I was talking to white men," I said; 
" ' tibo ' means friend. ' ' 

I told them that he had no need to fear Washakie's 
tribe, but that old Pocatello had drawn away some of 
Washakie's Indians, and that they were bad Indians, who 
were doing everything against the whites they could. 
Washakie had told me they were killing the emigrants and 
stealing their horses and burning their wagons. 

Well, this bishop talked and talked, and asked me ten 
thousand questions, it seemed to me. Finally the woman 
took pity on me and said, "Do let the poor boy rest." 

I told them I had always been in bed by dark and that 
I felt pretty tired. 

"Well," said the bishop, "you may go to bed now, and 
I will see you in the morning. You had better come down 
to my house and stay all day. I should like very much 
to have Brother Snow talk with you." 

I didn't say anything, but I thought that neither Snow 
nor rain would catch me in that place another day, so I 
was up by the peep of day and away I went. I traveled 
seven or eight miles and stopped by some hot springs, 
unpacked my horses, and got me something to eat. I 
thought that I would not stop in any more houses where 
bishops could get hold of me and talk me to death. 

% Homeward Bound 123 

After my horses had fed, I started on my way again, 
and after traveling about ten miles more, I came to a 
place called Ogden. As I was going along the main street, 
a man standing by a store stopped me and began talking 
Indian to me. He asked me where I had been. I told 
him. While we were talking, several more men came up 
and one of them asked me where I was going to camp 
that night. I told him that I did not know, but that I 
would go on down the road a piece until I found grass and 
water. He asked me to put my horses in his corral and 
give them all the hay they could eat. 

"No," I said, "I would rather go on." 

"No," he said, "you must stop here tonight." With 
that he took the rope out of my hands and let my horses 
into his corral. I followed him, and when I had unpacked 
I asked him if he was a bishop. He said he was. I told 
him I thought so. 

"Why?" he asked. 

"Because you talk so much." 

He laughed and said that I must not mind that, for 
they seldom saw a person like me, and they wanted to 
find out all they could about the Indians. 

After a while he invited me in to supper. I did not want 
to go, but he would have his way, so I went in with him. 
I think he said his name was West. 

This Bishop West, if that was his name, asked me a good 
many questions, but he said he would not weary me by 
talking too long. I was in bed soon after dark that night. 
I intended to get off early the next morning, and give them 
the slip as before ; but just as I was packing up, the bishop 
came out and said, "Hold on there, you are not going 
before breakfast." 

I told him that I had plenty to eat with me ; but he 
insisted that I take breakfast with him, and I had to stay. 


The White Indian Boy 

^ Homeward Bound 125 

He asked me a great many more questions, but he was 
very nice about it. I felt glad to talk with him, for he was 
so kind and good to me. 

He said that I would be a very useful man, if I was 
treated right. He asked me whether I had been to school 
much, and he was very much surprised when I told him 
that I had never attended school a day in my life. He 
said that I must go to school, and if I lived near him he 
would see that I did go. As I started away he asked me 
to go and see Governor Young when I got to Salt Lake ; 
but I thought I did not want to do it. I was a young boy 
then and did not realize the importance of his request. 

That day I reached a place called Farmington. Just 
as I was nearing town, I saw some boys driving cows. 

"Where can I camp tonight?" I asked them. 

"Up on the mountain if you want to," said one of 

"You think you are pretty smart," I said. 

"Just as smart as you, Mr. Injun," he replied; "if 
you don't believe it, just get off that buzzard head of a 
horse and I'll show you." 

I jumped off and he ran. I got on my horse and started 
after them, but they scrambled through the fence and 
ran away through the fields. I went on through the town, 
and after getting permission from the owner, camped in 
his field, and I was not bothered with any questions that 

The next morning I was off pretty early and reached 
Salt Lake City. I did not stay there, however, but went 
on through and stopped at the Jordan River bridge for 
noon. This was a familiar road to me now, for I had been 
in the city several times before. That afternoon I jour- 
neyed on to what we called Black Rock and camped that 
night at the southern end of Great Salt Lake. I was now 

126 The White Indian Boy 

within a short day's ride of home. I could hardly stay 
there till morning, I was so anxious now to get home. 

Just as I was making camp, a team drove up with three 
people in the wagon. I knew them. They were John 
Zundel, his sister Julia, and Jane Branden, our nearest 
neighbors, but they did not know me at first. 

I had a fire and was broiling a rabbit I had killed, when 
Julia came up and tried to get a good look at me, but I 
kept my face turned from her as much as I could. Finally 
she got a glimpse of my face and went to the wagon. I 
heard her say to Jane, 

"That is the whitest Indian I ever saw, and he has blue 

'Til bet a dollar it is Nick Wilson," said Jane. 
' They came over where I was and Jane said, "Look up 
here, young man, and let us see you." 

I let them take a look at me. 

"I knew it was you, you little scamp!" she said, tak- 
ing hold of me and shaking me and patting me on the 

"I've a good notion to flog you," she went on. "Your 
poor mother has worried herself nearly to death about 

Morning came at last, and I packed up in a hurry to get 
home. I did not stop this time until I reached it. 

As I rode up, two of my little sisters, who were playing 
by the side of the house, ran in and told mother that an 
Indian was out there. She came to the door, and she 
knew me the moment she saw me. I cannot tell you just 
what passed the next hour, but they were all happy to 
have me back safe at home again. 

I had forgotten all about my horses in the joy of the 
meeting. When I finally went out to unpack them, the 
folks all followed me and mother asked," Where did you 

% Homeward Bound 127 

get all of those horses ? Did you take them from the In- 
dians and run away?" 

I told her that they were mine, that I had not run away 
from the Indians as I had from her. After that I put 
my ponies in the field, and answering their eager ques- 
tions, I told them all about my two years among the 

" Away she went, through the bars and down the street." 



Soon after I reached home, another call was made for 
men to go out and stop the soldiers from entering the 
territory. I wanted to go, but my father would not let 
me. I said that I could shoot as well with my bow and 
arrows as they could with their old flintlock guns, but 
they said I was too young, so my older brother went, and 
I let him have one of my buffalo robes and my roan pony. 
All of the grain was not out of the fields yet and all of 
the men had gone off to the "Echo Canyon War," as 
it was called, except a few very old men who could not do 
much work. The women and little boys could be seen 
every day out in the fields hauling grain and stacking it. 
There would be about half a dozen women to each team 
and a little boy driving the oxen. I have seen as many 
as fifteen to twenty teams at a time out in the big public 
field hauling grain, and just as many women and children 
as could get around the wagons. They seemed happy as 
larks, for they were singing bravely. 


The Year of the Move 129 

After the grain was hauled it was threshed. An old 
man by the name of Baker, who could just get around 
by the aid of two walking-sticks, took charge of the 
threshing machine. It was not much like the steam 
threshers of these days. This one had a cylinder fixed 
in a big box, and it was made to turn by horse power, 
but we had to use ox power. Old "Daddy Baker" and 
as many women as could get around the machine began to 
do the threshing. We put on four yoke of oxen to run 
the old "chaff-piler," as we called it. 

The oldest boys were set to pitching the grain to the 
old machine. One of the other boys started up the cattle 
and away she went. I was to do the feeding. At first 
the boys pitched the grain so fast that I had to shove three 
or four bundles at a time into the mouth of the machine. 
This choked the old thing, and caused the belt to break, 
and it took half an hour to patch up and get going 

The straw and chaff came out together. About fifteen 
women with rakes would string out and rake the straw 
along until they left the grain behind, then about forty 
children would stack the straw. After we threshed an 
hour or two we would stop and "cave up," as we called it. 
That meant to push the grain and chaff in a pile at one 
side. Then we would go on again. 

When we had finished Brother Martendale's job, we 
moved over to Brother Pumpswoggle's place, and after 
that we threshed for some other brother until all the grain 
was done. 

After the threshing was done, we took the old-fashioned 
fanning mill and went the rounds to clean the chaff from 
the grain. Some of the women would take turns turning 
the old thing, while others would take milk pans and 
buckets and put grain into the hopper. The chaff would 

130 The White Indian Boy 

fly one way and the grain go another. At best we could 
thresh only about one hundred fifty bushels a day, and 
we had about twenty thousand bushels to thresh, so it 
looked a very discouraging task, with winter so near. 

But as luck would have it, some of the men came in 
with a large band of mules and horses they had taken 
from the soldiers and four of the men were left home 
to help do the threshing. "Lonzo" Mecham took charge 
of the work, and we used some of the captured mules to 
help out, so the threshing went on much faster. They 
were good mules. 

During all of that fall the women took the part of men 
as well as women. They hauled wood from the moun- 
tains, dug potatoes, and gathered in all of the other products 
from the gardens and farms. Many of the poor mothers 
were hardly able to be out, but they took their double 
part bravely while their fathers, brothers and sons were 
off in the mountains defending their homes and families. 
They were poorly dressed, too, for the cold weather. 

Most of the people were very poor. The Indians and 
grasshoppers and crickets had kept them down so that it 
was hard at best to make a living, and now an army was 
coming, they feared, to burn and kill. 

The soldiers probably would have made sad work, if 
Lot Smith had not stopped them by burning their wagon 
trains full of supplies out on the Big Sandy. 1 This held 
them off long enough to enable the officers of the govern- 
ment to meet with the leaders of the state and come to 
an understanding ; the war was happily prevented. 

During the winter many of the men came home. Poor 

though we were we had happy times. They had social 

gatherings at which they sang and danced and played 

games to while away the wintry evenings. Sometimes, 

1 A branch of the Green River, in Wyoming. 

The Year of the Move 


Echo Canyon, Utah. The Overland Trail ran through this pass. 

to pay the fiddler, the people took squash or wheat or 
carrots. There was little money in the country. 

I have said that the people were very poor. They were 
poor in furniture, bedding, clothing, but generally they 
had enough to eat, and they were gradually getting cattle, 
sheep, pigs, and chickens to help out. Their furniture 
and dishes, however, had been broken and used up in 
their long journey across the plains and it was hard to 
get more. Sometimes a coat or a dress would be patched 
so many times and with so many different kinds of cloth 

132 The White Indian Boy 

that it was difficult to tell which piece of cloth it had been 
made of in the first place. 

When spring came, matters had not been yet arranged 
between our leaders and the government. The leaders 
were uncertain how the trouble would end, so they 
ordered the settlers to abandon their homes for the time 
being and move south. This was a trying thing to do. 
The crops were all in when the order came to move. 
A guard was left to take care of what was left behind, 
and if it came to the worst, they were to burn everything 
that might be useful to the army. My father with his 
family and most of our neighbors moved down to Spanish 
Fork, Utah. Here we stayed for further orders from the 

To make this move from their homes, the people had to 
use any kind of outfit they could get together. Every- 
thing from a wheelbarrow to an eight-mule team could 
be seen along the roads. An old wagon with a cow and 
a horse hitched up together was a common sight. Some 
had good buggies, others an old ox hitched between the 
shafts of a rickety old two-wheeled cart. Some of the 
women led the family cows with their bedding and a little 
food packed on their backs. Some were rich and many 
were poor, but they all were traveling the same road, and 
all appeared to be happy, and none of them very badly 

By this time I had traded my Crow Indian pony for a 
white man's saddle and a two-year-old heifer. I wanted 
to go back to live with Washakie and my dear old Indian 
mother, but I did not care to do so until I found out what 
the army was going to do. 

We had not been in Spanish Fork long before some 
Spaniards from California brought in a band of wild 
horses to trade for cattle. A good many people had 

The Year of the Move 


Remains of levee built by Utah troops to flood a canyon 
so as to impede the march of Johnston's army. 

gathered around the corral to see the mustangs. While 
sitting on the corral fence, I saw a little black three- 
year-old mare that took my fancy. I asked the man 
what he would take for her. 

"She is worth sixty dollars," he said, "but if you will 

134 The White Indian Boy 

jump off that fence on to her back and ride her, you may 
have her for nothing." 

"That is a whack," I said ; 'Til do it." 

He told me to wait until they were ready to turn the 
horses out. It was not long before he said, "Now we 
are ready to see the fun." He had no idea that I would 
do it. He thought the colt would throw me off at the 
first jump, and they would have a good laugh on my 

They let down the bars and drove the horses around so 
that the black came near enough for me to jump off the 
fence to her back. As she came close I made the leap 
and landed fairly. Away she went out through the bars 
and down the street. Every dog in the place seemed to 
be after us. 

We passed over the hill and headed towards Pond 
Town. Then we circled to the west towards Goshen. 
The band of horses we started with were soon left way 
behind and we ran away from all the dogs. - 

Some one ran over and told my folks that I was on a 
wild horse, that it was running away and I would be 
killed. Mother was not much worried, for she knew I 
had been on wild horses before. My brother, however, 
jumped on my pinto pony and struck out after me. 
When he finally caught up, the colt I had been riding 
had run herself down, and had stopped. He rode up 
and handed me a rope, which I put around the mare's 
neck, and then got off to let her rest. After a while I 
mounted her again and with my brother drove her back 
to town. The stranger kept his word. I had won the 
black mare. 

When we got back, all of the men that had seen us start 
off came up to look at us. Among them was a Mr. Faust, 
"Doc Faust," they called him. He said that I beat all 

The Year of the Move 135 

the boys at riding he ever saw ; that he had a good many 
horses on his ranch he wanted broken and would give 
me fifty dollars a month to come and do it for him. When 
I told mother about it, she would not give her consent, 
for my father was very sick and she was afraid he would 
not live much longer. 

We stayed in the neighborhood of Spanish Fork until 
about the first of August, then word came that we could 
go back home. The leaders had come to a peaceful 
agreement with the government. 

We started back to our homes with a hurrah ! and when 
we reached them, we all went to work with a will. I 
never saw larger crops than we raised that year. Wheat 
ran from fifty to seventy-five bushels to the acre. It 
was the same all through the territory. Best of all we 
received the highest prices for it. The army bought 
all the grain, hay, straw, and other products that we had 
to sell. 

All of our harvesting had to be done by hand, for there 
were no reaping machines in those days. We hired 
Owen Baston to cradle our grain, and my brother and I 
bound it. That fall, after our wheat was all harvested, 
my father died. 

After the death of father, my brother and I did not get 
along very well together. He was a hard worker. I had 
never done much work and it went rather hard with me. 
Riding horses, I thought, was more fun than slaving on 
the farm, so I decided to go to Mr. Faust's ranch and 
help him break his bronchos. After that I intended to 
go back to live with Washakie. 

Mr. Faust lived at the south end of Rush Valley, about 
sixty miles southwest of Salt Lake. When I got to his 
ranch he was very glad to see me. 

"We will have that old outlaw of a horse brought to 


The White Indian Boy 

time now," he said to his other riders. "Here is the 
boy that can ride him." 

I told him that I was not so sure of that, for I had 
never ridden a bad horse for more than a year. 

"Bad," he said, "what do you call jumping off a fence 
on to the back of a wild mustang?" 

"Oh, she wasn't a bad animal to ride," I said; "she 
did nothing but run." 

"My horses are not bad to break," he went on, "but 
one of them has thrown two or three of the boys, and it 
has made him mean. I want him broken, for he is about 
as good a horse as I have, and I know you can break 

The next morning one of Mr. Faust's best riders and 
I went out to bring in the band the outlaw was with. 
This man told me that if I was not a very good rider I 
had better keep off that horse, or he would kill me. I 
told him that I did not know much about riding, but I 
was not afraid to try him. We brought in the band and 
roped the outlaw. 

Part of fortifications built by Utah troops to hold back Johnston's army. 

The Year of the Move 137 

Mr. Faust asked me whether I thought I could ride 
him. I was ready to try. The man who had gone with 
me tried to get Mr. Faust not to let me do it, for he said 
I might be killed. I began to think he was afraid I 
should prove the better rider, for the outlaw had pitched 
him off several times. 

When things were ready, I mounted the broncho. He 
went off very peaceably for a little # way, and I thought 
that they were making a fool of me ; but pretty soon 
the old boy turned loose, and he fairly made my neck 
pop. He gave me the hardest bucking I ever had ; but 
he did it straight ahead. He did not whirl as some horses 
do, so I stayed with him all right. 

When he stopped bucking, I sent him through for ten 
miles about as fast as he ever went, and when I got back 
to the ranch I rode up the corral where the man was 
saddling another horse. 

Standing up in my saddle, I said, "Do you call this a 
bad horse ? If you do you don't know what a bad horse 

The fellow did not like me very much after that. I 
got along very well with the old outlaw ; but I had to 
give him some very hard rides before he acknowledged 
me his master. 

I had a number of similar experiences in taming horses 
which were hard to manage, and although I did not come 
out without a scratch or a bruise, I succeeded in making 
almost any horse I tried to ride understand that I was 
his master. However, I would not advise a boy who has 
not a particular faculty for riding unmanageable horses 
to engage in the sport on the strength of my remarks here. 
It takes quite a knack to establish the right understanding 
between a horse and a man. Some persons — women as 
well as men — seem to have this gift naturally, and with- 

138 The White Indian Boy 

out any idea of boasting I may say that I think I had it 
more than most of the boys in our part of the country. 

One reason, perhaps, why I got along so well with them 
was that ever since I was a little boy I have loved horses 
and liked to be around them, thinking of them more as 
human beings than mere dumb beasts. It was the same 
way, I may add, with dogs ; and horses and dogs know 
when a boy or a maja has this feeling, and it makes a dif- 
ference even in the toughest of them as to how they will 
treat you. 

I am sorry that I cannot stop and make it a part of my 
story to tell about some more of my adventures in taming 
wild horses. But possibly this is just as well, as I am 
afraid true stories might not prove very interesting be- 
side some which have been printed in papers and maga- 
zines, in which I think the writers must have drawn 
largely upon their imagination in order to make thrilling 

" Their leader grabbed my horse's rein." 



About the time I had decided to go back to my Indian 
friends, word came that the Pony Express was to be 
started, and Mr. Faust induced me to stay and be one 
of the pony riders. I sold my roan pony to a sergeant 
in Camp Floyd for seventy-five dollars and my little 
black mare for a hundred dollars. Part of this money 
I gave to mother, and the rest I used to buy some clothes. 

A great "powwow" was going on about the Pony 
Express coming through the country. The company 
had begun to build its roads and stations. These stations 
were about ten miles apart. They were placed as near 
to a spring, or other watering place, as possible. There 
were two kinds of them, the "home station" and the 
"way station." At the way stations, the riders changed 
horses; at the home stations, which were about fifty 
miles from each other, the riders were changed; and 
there they ate their meals and slept. 

Finally the time came for the express horses to be 
distributed along the line, and the station keepers and 


140 The White Indian Boy 

riders were sent to the various stations. Mr. Faust 
and Major Howard Egan went on my bond, and I was 
sent out west into Nevada to a station called Ruby Valley. 
This was a "home station." It was kept by William 
Smith. Samuel Lee was his hostler. 
<| When we were hired to ride the express, we had to go 
before a justice of the peace and swear we would be at 
our post at all times, and not go farther than one hundred 
yards from the station except when carrying the mail. 
When we started out we were not to turn back, no matter 
what happened, until we had delivered the mail at the 
next station. We must be ready to start back at a half 
minute's notice, day or night, rain or shine, Indians or 
no Indians. 

Our saddles, which were all provided by the company, 
had nothing to them but the bare tree, stirrups, and 
cinch. Two large pieces of leather about sixteen inches 
wide by twenty-four long were laced together with a 
strong leather string thrown over the saddle. Fastened 
to these were four pockets, two in front and two behind ; 
these hung on each side of the saddle. The two hind ones 
were the largest. The one in front on the left side was 
called the "way pocket." All of these pockets were 
locked with small padlocks and each home station keeper 
had a key to the "way pocket." When the express 
arrived at the home station, the keeper would unlock 
the "way pocket" and if there were any letters for the 
boys between the home stations, the rider would dis- 
tribute them as he went along. There was also a card 
in the way pocket that the station keeper would take out 
and write on it the time the express arrived and left his 
station. If the express was behind time, he would tell 
the rider how much time he had to make up. 

Well, the time came that we had to start. On the after- 

The Pony Express 141 

noon of April 3, 1860, at a signal cannon shot, a pony rider 
left St. Joseph, Missouri ; and the same moment another 
left Sacramento, California — one speeding west, the other 
east over plains and mountains and desert. Night and 
day the race was kept up by the different riders and their 
swift horses until the mail was carried through. Then 
they turned and dashed back over the same trail again. 
Each man would make about fifty miles a day, changing 
horses four or five times to do it. 

Not many riders could stand the long, fast riding at first, 
but after about two weeks they would get hardened to it. 

At first the rider would be charged up with the saddle 
he was riding, and his first wages were kept back for it. 
If he had no revolver, and had to get one from the com- 
pany, that would add another heavy expense to be de- 
ducted from his wages. Some of the boys were killed 
by the Indians before they had paid for these things. 
Our pay was too small for the hard work and the dangers 
we went through. 

Everything went along first rate for a while, but after 
about six or eight months of that work, the big, fine 
horses began to play out, and then the company bought 
up a lot of wild horses from California, strung them along 
the road and put the best riders to breaking them. 

Peter Neece, our home station keeper, was a big, strong 
man, and a good rider. He was put to breaking some of 
these mustangs for the boys on his beat. After he had 
ridden one of them a time or two, he would turn the half- 
broken, wild things over to the express boys to ride. 
Generally, when a hostler could lead them into and out 
of the stable without getting his head kicked off, the 
bronchos were considered broken. Very likely they had 
been handled just enough to make them mean. I found 
it to be so with most of the horses they gave me to ride. 

142 The White Indian Boy 

I was not a bit afraid of the Indians at first ; but when 
the boys began to get shot at and killed by the skulking 
savages, I might not have been afraid, but I was pretty 
badly scared just the same. 

At one time my home station was at Shell Creek. I 
rode from there to Deep Creek. One day the Indians 
killed a rider out on the desert, and when I was to meet 
him at Deep Creek, he was not there. I had to keep 
right on until I met him. It was not until I reached 
the next station, Willow Creek, that I found out he had 
been killed. My horse was about jaded by this time, so 
I had to stay there and let him rest. I should have had 
to start back that night if the Indians had not come 
upon us. 

About four o'clock that afternoon, seven Indians rode 
up to the station and asked for something to eat. Neece, 
the station keeper, picked up a sack holding about twenty 
pounds of flour and offered it to them. They demanded 
a sack of flour apiece. He threw it back into the house 
and told them to clear out, that he would not give them 

This made them angry, and as they passed a shed about 
five rods from the house they each shot an arrow into a 
poor old lame cow, that happened to be standing under a 
shed. When Neece saw that, he jerked out his pistol 
and commenced shooting at them. He killed two of the 
Indians and the rest ran. 

"Now, boys," he said, "we are in for a hot time tonight. 
There's a bunch of about thirty of the red rascals up the 
canyon, and they will be on us as soon as it gets dark. 
We'll have to fight." 

A man by the name of Lynch was with us at the time. 
He had boasted a good deal about what he would do if 
the Indians attacked him. We thought he was a kind of 

The Pony Express 


desperado. I felt pretty 
safe until he weakened 
and began to cry, then 
I wanted all of us to get 
on our horses and skip 
for the next station ; but 
Pete said : " No ; we will 
load up all of our old 
guns and get ready for 
them when they come. 
There are only four of 
us; but we can stand 
off the whole bunch of 

Just a little before 
dark we could see a big 
dust over towards the 
mouth of the canyon 
about six miles from the 
station. We knew they 
were coming. Neece 

thought it would be a good thing to go out from the station 
a hundred yards or so and surprise them as they came up. 
When we got there he had us lie down a little way apart. 

"Now," he said, "when you fire, jump to one side, so 
if they shoot at the blaze of your gun, you will not be 

You bet I lay close to the ground. Pretty soon we 
heard the thumping of their horses' hoofs. It seemed 
to me there were hundreds of them. And such yells 
as they let out, I never heard before. They were coming 
straight for us, and I thought they were going to run right 
over us. It was sandy where we lay, with little humps here 
and there and scrubby greasewood growing on the humps. 

Bur. of Am. Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution 

An aged Indian of the Nevada desert, 
of Pony Express days, with his bow 
and arrows. 

144 The White Indian Boy 

When the Indians got close enough, Pete shot and 
jumped away to one side. I had two pistols, one in each 
hand, cocked and ready to pull the trigger, and was 
crawling on my elbows and knees. Each time he would 
shoot I saw him j ump . Soon they were all shooting but me . 
I got so excited that I forgot to fire, but I kept jumping. 

After I had jumped a good many times, I happened to 
land in a little wash, or ravine, that the water had made. 
My back came up nearly level with the top of the banks. 
Anyway I pressed myself down in it. I was badly scared. 
My heart was beating like a triphammer. 

As I lay there, the shooting ceased. After a while I 
raised my head and looked off towards the desert. Those 
humps of sand covered with greasewood looked exactly 
like Indians on horses, and I could see several of them 
near the wash. I crouched down again and lay there a 
long time ; it seemed hours. 

Finally everything was so still I decided to go and see 
whether my horse was where I had staked him. If he 
was, I intended to jump on him and strike back for the 
Deep Creek station, and tell them that the boys were 
killed ; but as I went crawling around the house on my 
elbows and knees with my revolvers ready to shoot, I 
saw a light shining through the cracks. It must be full 
of Indians, I thought ; and I lay there quietly to watch 
what they were doing. 

Suddenly I heard one of the men a little distance from 
the house say, "Did you find anything of him?" 

Another answered : "No, I guess he is gone." 

I knew then it was the boys. When I heard them go 
into the house and shut the door, I slipped up and peeped 
through the cracks. The three of them were in there 
all right. I was almost too ashamed to go in; but I 
finally went around and opened the door. 

^ The Pony Express 145 

"Hello !" Neece called out; "here he is! How far 
did you chase them, Nick ? I knew you would stay with 

Several Indians had been killed and the rest of the 
bunch had run when the surprise attack was made on 
them. They did not bother us any more just then, but 
they got plenty of revenge later. The next morning I 
went back to Deep Creek. 

Shortly after this I was making my ride through one 
of the canyons on the trail when suddenly four Indians 
jumped out of the rocks and brush into the road just 
ahead of me. I whirled my pony and started to run 
back, when I found three other Indians standing in the 
trail. I couldn't climb the sides of the canyon ; the 
devils had me trapped, and they began to close in on 
me with their bows and arrows ready. Only one of them 
had a gun. 

I did not know what else to do, so I sat still on my 
horse. As they came up I recognized old Tabby among 
them. This gave me some hope. Their leader, a one- 
eyed, mean-looking old rascal, grabbed my horse's rein, 
and ordered me to get off. I tried to get old Tabby's 
eye, but he wouldn't look my way nor speak to me. Two 
Indians led my horse about a hundred yards up the 
canyon and held it there, while the one-eyed Indian 
talked to me. 

He said I had no right to cross their country. The 
land belonged to the Indians, and they were going to 
drive the white men out of it. He took his ramrod out 
of his old gun and marked a trail in the road. "We will 
burn the stations, here and here and here," he went on, 
jabbing the rod in the dirt. "And we will kill the pony 

With this threat he left me standing in the road, while 

146 The White Indian Boy 

" Joe Dugout's " well on old Pony Express trail, about ten miles north- 
east of Camp Floyd. " Joe " kept a " way station " here for the express. 

he, with old Tabby and the rest, walked away into the 
brush and began to talk. I could not hear what they 
were saying. I was badly scared. Then they made a fire. 

My soul! I thought. Are they going to burn me? 
I was just about to make a dash for the two Indians and 
fight for my horse; but that would have been a fool 
thing to do. 

After a while one of the Indians came up and asked me 
if I had any tobacco. I gave him all I had. That made 
things look a little better. They had a smoke and then 
Old Tabby came to talk with me. 

The Indians, he said, wanted to kill me, but he would 
not agree to it. My father, he said, was his good friend. 
But I must turn back and never carry the mail there 
again ; for if they caught me they would surely kill me 
next time. 

"But this mail's got to go through," I said. "Let 
me take it this time and I will not ride here again." 

The Pony Express 147 

When I had made this promise, they let me go. I did 
not carry the mail over there any more ; but I was sent 
further west, about three hundred miles, to ride from 
Carson Sink to Fort Churchill. The distance was about 
seventy-five miles and was a very hard ride, for the horses 
as well as for me, because much of the trail led through 
deep sand. Some things were not so bad, however; 
I had no mountains to cross, and the Indians were more 
friendly here. 

East of my beat along Egan Canyon, Shell Creek, and 
Deep Creek, they had begun to be very ugly, threatening 
to burn the stations and kill the people, and the following 
spring they did break out in dead earnest. Some of the 
stations were burned and one of the riders was killed. 
That spring I was changed back into Major Egan's division 
and rode from Shell Creek to Ruby Valley. 

Things grew worse that summer. More stations were 
burned, some hostlers and riders were killed, and I got 
very badly wounded. It happened this way. I had been 
taking some horses to Antelope Station, and on my way 
back, I made a stop at Spring Valley Station. When I 
got there, the two boys that looked after the station were 
out on the wood pile playing cards. They asked me to 
stay and have dinner. I got my horse and started him 
towards the station, but instead of going into the stable 
he went behind it where some other horses were grazing. 

Pretty soon we saw the horses going across the meadow 
towards the cedars with two Indians behind them. We 
started after them full tilt and gained on them a little. 
As we ran I fired three shots at them from my revolver, 
but they were too far off for me to hit them. They 
reached the cedars a little before we did. 

I was ahead of the other two boys, and as I ran around 
a large cedar one of the Indians shot me in the head with 

148 The White Indian Boy 

a flint-tipped arrow. It struck me about two inches 
above the left eye. The two boys were on the other side 
of the tree. Seeing the Indians run, they came around 
to find me lying on the ground with the arrow sticking 
in my head. They tried to pull the arrow out, but the 
shaft came away and left the flint in my head. Thinking 
that I would surely die, they rolled me under a tree and 
started for the next station as fast as they could go. 
There they got a few men and came back the next morning 
to bury me ; but when they got to me and found that I was 
still alive, they thought they would not bury me just then. 

They carried me to a station called Cedar Wells, and 
sent to Ruby Valley for a doctor. When he came, he 
took the spike out of my head and told the boys to keep a 
wet rag on the wound, as that was all they could do for me. 

I lay there for six days, when Major Egan happened 
to come along. Seeing that I was still alive, he sent for 
the doctor again. When the doctor came and saw I was 
no worse, he began to do something for me. But I knew 
nothing of all this. For eighteen days I lay unconscious. 
Then I began to get better fast, and it was not long before 
I was riding again. 

If Mr. Egan had not happened along when he did, I 
think I should not be here now telling about it. But 
oh, I have suffered with my head at times since then ! 

The Indians kept getting worse. They began to attack 
and murder emigrants, and they did a lot of damage to 
the express line by burning stations, killing the riders, 
and running off with the horses. It became harder to 
get riders to carry the mail; for every one that could 
leave would do so, and the agents found it difficult to 
find others to take the dangerous job. They raised the 
wages from forty dollars to sixty per month, but men did 
not want to risk their lives for even that price. 

* The Pony Express 149 

Between Deep Creek and Shell Creek was what we 
called "Eight-mile station." It was kept by an old man, 
and he had two young emigrant boys to help him. Their 
mother had died of the cholera, east of Salt Lake City, 
and their father had been shot by the Indians farther along 
the trail west. He died when they reached Deep Creek, 
leaving these two boys with the station keeper. Before 
he passed away he gave this keeper five hundred dollars, 
a span of big mules, and a new wagon if he would send 
the boys back to Missouri where the family had lived. 

As it was too late for them to make the trip that fall, 
the boys were to pass the winter at Deep Creek. The 
old keeper of the "Eight-mile station" could not do the 
work very well, so the older of the two boys was sent 
there to help him. An emigrant train came along and 
the old man slipped away with it, leaving the boy to take 
care of the station alone. It was hard to get men to stay 
at this station when the Indians began to get mean. The 
boy wanted to stay with it, so they let him do it ; and his 
brother was sent out to help him. 

One day, while these two boys were in charge, I rode 
up there to meet the other rider. As I reached the 
station, I could see him coming five or six miles away. 
While we were watching him a band of Indians broke out 
of the brush and began to chase him. He made a great 
race for his life ; but just before he reached the station, 
they shot and killed him. We knew the Indians would 
attack the station next, so we hurried to the barn and 
brought the three horses there to the house. 

The station was a stone building about twelve by 
twenty feet in size, with a shed roof covered with dirt, 
so that no timbers were sticking out for the Indians to 
set on fire. There were portholes in each end of the build- 
ing, and one on each side of the door in front. 

150 The White Indian Boy 

We succeeded in getting our horses into this house by 
the time the Indians surrounded the station. They kept 
shooting at the back of the house ; for they soon learned 
not to come up in front of these portholes. One or two 
of them that were foolish enough to do it got killed. I 
know that one made a mistake by darkening my port- 
hole. When I saw the shadow, I pulled the trigger. 
Three days afterwards, when I went out, I found an 
Indian lying there. He must have got in the way of my 

They kept us there for three days. It was lucky for 
us that the station was built on low ground. The water 
had risen in the cellar under the house. We had only 
one pan that the boys had used for mixing dough to make 
their bread. This we had to use to water and feed the 
horses in and for mixing bread also. The water in the 
cellar was not good, but it kept us from choking to death 
those three days that we were held prisoners. 

The younger boy was not more than eleven years old, 
and the other one was about fourteen. I was only a few 
years older. We put the little boy to tending the horses 
and looking after things while we guarded the house. 
Sometimes the little fellow would get to crying, and 
talking about his mother dying and his father getting 
killed by the Indians. The older boy was full of grit. 
He would try to comfort his little brother. 

The first night none of us slept at all, but the next day 
and the following night I let them sleep a little by having 
one of them watch while the other slept. The third night 
I went to sleep and left the boys on guard. 

Along towards morning, just as it was getting daylight, 
they came and woke me up. There was a lot of shooting 
going on outside, and they wanted to know what it meant. 
I listened, and the first thing I heard was somebody say- 

The Pony Express 151 

ing, "Go to the house and see if the boy is all right." I 
looked through the hole and saw a lot of soldiers. Some 
of Johnston's army had been sent out to clear the trail 
of the murdering Indians. 

Another exciting experience happened to me when 
Mr. Kennedy, a horse trader, was bringing a large band 
of mustangs along the trail from California to Salt Lake 
to sell. He got belated out on the desert and found it 
necessary to stop at Deep Creek, where he could winter 
his horses out instead of feeding them. -The Indians 
were so bad that we had to send out guards with the 
horses in the daytime, and at night corral them, and place 
a strong guard around them. 

Our corral was made by digging a trench and setting 
in large cedar posts on end. There was a straw stack in 
the middle of the corral where the boys tried to sleep; 
but the Indians got so mean that they would shoot arrows 
in the bed. This made it too dangerous to sleep there. 
Sometimes we would spread our blankets on the straw 
as if we were in bed, and in the morning find several 
arrows sticking through them. 

A favorite way of guarding the corral was to take up a 
big picket, or post on either side of the bars, and have a 
man stand in its place. 

The Indians' scheme was to get the bars down in some 
way, then stampede the horses, and run them off. One 
night Peter Neece and I were standing guard in this way. 
He was on one side of the bars and I was on the other. 
We knew that there were Indians around by the way the 
horses in the corral acted. I was standing on the south 
side of the bars looking off into the sagebrush, for I be- 
lieved the Indians would be coming from that direction, 
because the horses were looking that way. 

But one Indian, instead of coming straight up from the 

152 The White Indian Boy 

front, got close up to the fence at the back and came creep- 
ing around close to the corral to get to the bars. It 
happened that he was coming on my side, but I did not 
see him. Neece did, but he could not warn me without 
giving himself away. 

He watched him crawling towards the bars, and just 
as he got about to his feet, Neece fired. The Indian 
gave one unearthly yell that could have been heard for 
miles, sprang in the air and settled down where I had 
been standing, but I wasn't there. When that yell was 
being let out, I turned a back somersault and landed a 
rod or more inside of the corral. 

Sometimes at night when the horses were brought in, 
we would saddle one for each of us and keep him saddled 
ready for use all night. In the morning we would put 
the saddle on fresh horses to be prepared at any minute 
to strike out after the Indians if it was necessary. 

In the spring, when Mr. Kennedy was about to start 
with his horses for Salt Lake, the herder was fired on one 
morning as he was driving the band out to grass. The 
Indians then closed in behind the horses and headed them 
towards the hills. Seven of us immediately started after 
them. I was on a lazy, old blue horse, and could not 
keep up with the other boys, but Mr. Kennedy rode a 
very good horse. He was way ahead of the rest of us 
and was crowding the Indians pretty close. He would 
have overtaken them in a few minutes more. Just before 
he caught up with them, however, one Indian's horse 
fell, carrying his rider down with him. As Kennedy 
charged on the Indian to run over him, he received an 
arrow in the arm ; but the Indian got a bullet through 
the head in return. Kennedy had to wait until we came 
up to pull the arrow out of his arm. 

By that time the Indians had the horses in a box canyon. 

The Pony Express 


Finley and Bohlman 

A coyote, an animal often seen on the desert, along the Pony Express 
trail. See Mark Twain's description of the coyote, in Roughing It. 

A few of the thieves hid among the rocks and held us 
back while the rest of the band rushed the horses up the 
canyon. The canyon led south a few hundred yards, 
then turned sharply around a large, steep mountain and 
ran almost directly north. A short distance further 
the canyon turned again and opened into a large meadow 
about a mile long. 

When we saw that we could not pass the Indians that 
were ambushing us at the rocky entrance of the canyon, 
Kennedy thought it would be best to go back two or three 
miles and cross a low divide to get into it at the head of 
the meadow. There the canyon narrowed again. We 
might head off the Indians if we got there first. We 
turned and went back about two and a half miles to go 
over this divide. When we neared the top of the divide 
there was a cliff too steep to take our horses over, so we 

154 The White Indian Boy 

tied them to a clump of mountain mahogany, and went 
afoot. We could not go very fast down the other side, 
for the white maple brush was very thick. 

Just before we got down to the head of the meadows, 
we stopped on the side of the mountain near a very large 
flat-topped rock. Kennedy sat there watching for the 
Indians to come out on to the meadows from the canyon. 
The rest of us went down just below the rock and began 
to fill our pockets with "yarb," or Indian tobacco. While 
picking this "yarb," Frank Mathis laid his old muzzle- 
loading Springfield rifle down in the bushes where he 
could easily reach it if necessary. 

We had been there about half an hour when all at once 
Kennedy jumped down among us and cried, "Boys, 
we're surrounded!" In his excitement Mathis grabbed 
his gun by the muzzle and gave it a jerk. The hammer 
caught on a bush and the gun was discharged, shooting 
his left arm off between the shoulder and elbow. That 
rattled us a good deal so we hardly knew what to do 

Kennedy thought it best for us to fight our way back 
to where our horses were tied. He started Mathis up 
the hill ahead of the rest of us. We were to keep the 
Indians back if we could. We knew they were around 
us on every side for we could hear the brush cracking 
and see it shaking every once in a while. When near 
the top, we came to a bare stretch of ground about two 
rods across. 

We stopped at the edge of the brush, for we knew that 
the Indians could shoot us as soon as we got into the open. 
Kennedy thought we had better make a break for it and 
scatter out as we ran so that they could not hit us so easily. 
I had the shortest legs of all the men ; but, just the same, 
I wasn't the last one over. When we were about half 

% The Pony Express 155 

way across, the Indians opened fire with their bows and 
guns. One bullet struck a rock right under my feet. It 
helped me over the hill just that much quicker. 

By the time we reached the horses, Mathis was bleed- 
ing badly. He was faint and begging for water. We 
had to lead our horses down to the bottom of the moun- 
tain on account of the rocks. Kennedy sent Robert Orr 
and me down to the creek to get water in our hats for 
Mathis. When we got back with it, Kennedy sent me 
on to the station so I could be there when the express 
came and be ready to take it on. That was the last I 
ever saw of Frank Mathis. He was sent on to Salt Lake, 
where he was cared for and got well, but he got into 
trouble later and was killed. 

About the time the Indians were at their worst a small 
train of emigrants came through on their way to Cali- 
fornia. They were warned by all of the station agents 
that it was not safe for so few people to travel through 
the country at that time, and were advised to stop until 
more trains came up. They replied that they were well 
armed and could stand off the Indians all right. 

At that time I was riding from Shell Creek through 
Egan Canyon to Ruby Valley. We who knew the 
Gosiute Indians could tell that they were going to make a 
raid. They were making signals in the mountains with 
smokes by day and fires by night to gather their band. 
We knew by their signs that the emigrants would be 
attacked as they were going through some of the bad 
canyons on the route. Egan Canyon was about the 
worst of these ; it was a narrow canyon nearly six miles 
long, with cliffs on each side from three hundred to one 
thousand feet high, so that one could not turn to the 
right or the left after entering it. This canyon was the 
dread of all that had to go through it. 

156 The White Indian Boy 

The train of emigrants had entered this canyon just 
ahead of me. I rode very fast to catch up with them 
before they got to the worst part of it, but just before 
I reached them, I heard the shooting and I knew the 
Indians had made an attack. As I stopped to listen 
two men came running for dear life. They were bare- 

"Go back!" they shouted as they came near, "The 
whole company has been killed but us." They passed 
me and ran on. 

After a little while I could hear no more shooting, so 
I went on cautiously, looking ahead and around at every 
turn of the road. Soon I came in sight of the wagons. 
I made sure the Indians had gone before I went up to 

Such a terrible sight I never saw before. Every man, 
woman, and child except the two that escaped had been 
cruelly murdered. Only one woman had any life left 
when I got there and she died a moment later. I looked 
around carefully to see whether any others were alive, 
but finding none I rode on. I could not stand to look 
long on the dreadful scene. The Indians had cut the 
tugs of the harnesses and taken every horse and mule in 
the train. When I got out of the canyon, and saw where 
the murderous band had turned off the road, I did not 
spare my horse until I reached the next station. The 
keeper there immediately sent a messenger to Ruby 
Valley where the soldiers were and they came and buried 
the unfortunate emigrants. 

" I told Johnson to have his shooting-irons ready." 



The Indians became so troublesome that the soldiers from 
Camp Floyd were called out to stop their dreadful work. 
I got a letter from Major Egan directing me to meet him 
at Camp Floyd as soon as I could get there, for they 
wanted me to act as interpreter and guide for the soldiers. 
I started at once and made two hundred miles in three 
days. When I reached Camp Floyd, General Albert 
Sidney Johnston was all ready to start out against the 
Indians with four companies of soldiers. We traveled 
west, and crossed the Great American Desert in the night, 
so as not to be seen by the Indians. 

The soldiers stayed at Fish Springs and sent me out with 
three other scouts to see if we could find any signs of the 
Indians we were after. We took only two days' rations 
with us. The first day we met with no success, so the next 
morning we separated. I sent two of the scouts to circle 
around to the south, and took with me a young man by the 
name of Johnson, and went northwest. That afternoon 
we saw two Indians crossing a valley. We kept out of 


158 The White Indian Boy 

sight but followed them until night, and saw them go into 
a small bunch of cedars. We left our horses and slipped 
up as close to them as we could without letting them 
see us. 

When we got pretty near to them, I recognized in one 
of the Indians my old friend Yaiabi ; but not feeling sure 
that he would be glad to see me, I told Johnson to have 
his "shooting-irons" 1 ready and I would go up to them 
and see what they would do. As soon as they saw me com- 
ing they jumped up and drew their bows. I began to talk 
to them in their language. Yaiabi did not recognize me 
at first, and demanded to know what I was doing there. 
I told him I wanted water. He said there was no water 
except a very little they had brought with them. They 
asked me if I was alone. I told them that another young 
man was with me, then I called to Johnson to come up. 

After Yaiabi found out who I was he felt better, for they 
were very uneasy at first. When I asked him how he came 
to be there, he said they had been out to a little lake to 
see some Parowan Indians that were camped there. I 
asked him what the Indians were doing there. He said 
they were waiting for some more of the Pocatello Indians 
to come, and as soon as they arrived they were going to 
burn all the stations and kill all of the riders and station 

"Are you going with them?" I asked. 


"Why then have you been with those Indians?" 

He said that the Parowan Indians had stolen his 
sister's little boy two years before, and he went out to 
see if he could find the child. 

"Did you find it?" 

"No," he said, "they have sold it to the white folks." 
1 Revolvers or guns. 

Johnston Punishes the Indians 159 

"Do you know when the Indians they are looking for 
will be there P " 

4 'One sleep," ! he said. 

I knew it was a big day's ride back to where the Indians 
were gathering and I knew it was a hard day's ride to the 
place where the soldiers were camped. I did not know 
what was best for me to do. I had these two Indians 
and I did not want to let them go, for I was afraid they 
would skip back and let the others know that the soldiers 
were after them. 

Here we were a big day's ride to water, and our horses 
had had none since early morning, so I decided that it 
would be better to take the Indians to headquarters and 
let General Johnston decide what to do. I told Yaiabi 
my plans. He said he did not want to go to the soldiers, 
for he was afraid of them. I told him I would see that 
the soldiers did him no harm. He said, "Yagaiki, you 
have known me ever since you were a little boy, and you 
never knew of my doing anything bad in your life." I 
told him I knew that he had always been a good Indian, 
"but now you know that the soldiers are after those bad 
Indians and intend to kill the last one of them, and if I 
let you go, you will go to them and tell them that the 
soldiers are after them. Then if General Johnston should 
find out what I had done he would think I stood in with the 
Indians and would have me shot ; so, you see, you must 
go with us to the soldiers' camp." 

The Indian that was with Yaiabi said he would not go 
to the soldiers' camp. He started to get his bow, but I 
had my pistol on him in a jiffy, and told him to stop. He 
stopped, and I kept him there while Johnson gathered up 
their bows and arrows. When I told them to get ready to 
start, Yaiabi said they were tired and would like to stay 

1 One night. 

160 The White Indian Boy 

there until morning, but I said that our horses were so 
thirsty, we had better travel in the cool of the night or we 
should not be able to get them to camp, so we set out for 
Fish Springs. 

I told Johnson to tie the bows and arrows to his saddle 
and to keep a close watch over them; Yaiabi mounted 
my horse while I walked and led the horse. When I got 
tired of walking, I changed places with Yaiabi, and then 
young Johnson walked and let the other Indian ride his 
horse. In this way we traveled until morning. When 
daylight came, I gave the bows and arrows to young 
Johnson and told him to go to General Johnston's camp as 
soon as possible and send us fresh horses and some water. 
In about six hours he came back to us, accompanied by two 
soldiers with some water and two extra horses for the 
Indians to ride. By traveling pretty fast, we reached 
camp at one o'clock that day. 

General Johnston was very much pleased with me for 
bringing the two Indians in. At the sight of so many 
soldiers the Indians were very uneasy, but after they had 
been given something to eat and saw that they were not 
going to be hurt, they felt much better. 

The General talked with the Indians for about an hour, 
and I acted as interpreter. Yaiabi told him just how the 
big camp of Indians was located, and said there were 
about three hundred warriors there then ; they were 
looking for about fifty more to join them that night, and 
as soon as they could complete their plans they were 
going to burn the stations and kill all the white men they 
could find. He thought they would be ready in about five 
days to begin their bloody work. 

The General liked the way Yaiabi talked. He called 
him a good Indian, and said he believed he was telling the 
truth. I told Yaiabi what the general said. General 

Johnston Punishes the Indians 161 

Howard It. Driggs 
Ruins of barracks at Camp Floyd, Utah ; an army post established by 
Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston ; also a home station for Pony Express 
and Overland Stage. 

Johnston told me to get a little rest, for he wanted me to 
start out again that night if I would. I lay down and had 
a little sleep, and when I got up he told me that I was to 
go to the lake and see if Yaiabi had told the truth ; and 
if everything was all right, to send back word as soon as I 
could by one of the scouts that he would send with me. 
He told me to do all my traveling at night and keep under 
cover in the daytime, and to meet him as soon as I could 
at a spring about half way between where we were and the 
Indians. Then on the following night he would move his 
soldiers to another spring which Yaiabi had told about, 
and which was within six miles of the lake where the 
Indians were gathering. 

After dark, three of us started with four days' rations. 
I rode the little pinto pony on this trip, the first I had 
ridden him for a long time. We traveled all night and 
reached the first spring just at daybreak. I knew it would 
be a hard night's ride to go from here to the lake and then 
reach Yaiabi's spring in the mountains before daylight. 

162 The White Indian Boy 

About midnight we arrived at the north end of the lake, 
which was only a mile and a half long and half a mile wide. 
I had my two scouts stop there while I wrapped a red 
blanket around me and went on foot to find out what I 
could about the Indian camp. I had gone only a few steps 
when I came to a band of horses, and as I was passing 
around them I heard an Indian speak to a horse he was 
hobbling. I went up and asked him in Shoshone if he had 
come with the Pocatello Indians. He said he had, and 
that seventeen others came with him. 

"We will start burning the stations, then, soon," I 

"Were you at the council tonight ?" he asked. I told 
him I was not at the council, that I had been following 
a horse that had started back. He said that at the 
council it was decided that the Parowans were to go to 
Ruby Valley and burn and kill everything they came to ; 
and that the Pocatello Indians and Gosiutes were to start 
at Ibapah and burn towards the east. I asked him when 
we were to start from there. He said, "In four days." 
We were walking towards their camp as we talked, so as 
soon as I found out all I wanted to know, I said that I 
had forgotten my rope and would have to go back for it. 
So I parted company with my Indian friend. He was a 
Shoshone, and he thought I was another. When I got 
out of his sight, I wasn't long getting back to where I had 
left the boys, and in a very short time one of them was 
carrying the news to the army. 

The other scout and I went to find the spring Yaiabi had 
told me about. We got well into the mountains before 
daylight, and when it was light enough to see, we found 
the spring up a very rough canyon. We staked our 
horses so they could get plenty to eat and then crawled 
off into the willows for a good nap. 

Johnston Punishes the Indians 163 

That afternoon I climbed a high mountain near by to 
see which would be the best way to go from there to the 
Indians' camp in the night. After I had studied the lay 
of the country pretty well, I went back to the horses, ate 
a little cold lunch, and when it commenced to get dark, 
we struck out to meet General Johnston at the appointed 

We did not travel very fast, for I knew we would reach 
the place before the soldiers could get there. We were 
at the spring about two hours before daylight, and had a 
good nap before General Johnston came. When he got 
to us he wanted to know if I thought it safe to make a fire 
to boil some coffee. I told him I thought there was no 
danger, so we made a small fire, and had a good cup of 
coffee, then we all lay down for a little nap. 

About sundown, the packers began loading the hundred 
pack mules we had with us, and we got started just about 
dark for the Yaiabi spring, which was about six miles north 
of the Indians' camp. We reached the spring in good time, 
and were all unpacked before dawn. 

After breakfast, General Johnston and I went up on to 
the mountain so that he could see the Indian camp. He 
had a good pair of field glasses and could see everything 
very plainly. He asked if I knew anything about that 
bunch of willows he could see a little to the west of their 
camp. I told him I knew it very well, for when the ex- 
press first started it came this way, and we had a station 
right where the Indian camp is now, so I had been there 
many times. He said, "Then you can take me to it *in 
the night?" I told him I could, and pointed out to him 
the way we would have to go. He told me he wanted to 
make the attack the next morning at daybreak. We 
went back to camp, and found all the soldiers asleep, 
except the guard ; and in a very short time we were rolled 

164 The White Indian Boy 

in our blankets and dreaming of the time when all the 
Indians would be good Indians. 

When I awoke that afternoon, I saw General Johnston 
and his staff going up the mountain to where we had been 
that morning. They got back to camp just before sun- 
down, and held a hasty council with the remainder of the 
officers ; then orders were given to pack up, and we got 
in line just at dark. I told General Johnston he would 
have to take his men down this canyon in single file, and 
in some places we would have to travel along the side of 
the mountain over very narrow trails; that we would 
have to climb above high cliffs, and pass through some 
very dangerous places. He said that I was to go ahead, 
and, when I came to the bad places, to dismount and they 
would follow suit. We had about two miles to go before 
we would come to the bad places, and when I got off the 
next man would get off and so on down the line. By 
doing this, we got down the canyon very well, except 
that three of our pack mules rolled over a cliff and were 

The head of the company got out of the canyon about 
eleven o'clock that night. We were within six or seven 
hundred yards of the Indian camp, for the lake lay almost 
at the foot of the mountains. As the soldiers came down 
they formed into lines, and General Johnston and I 
started to find the bunch of willows we had seen from the 
top of the mountain. We soon found it, and went back 
to the soldiers. The general said that was all he wanted 
with me until after the fight, and told me to take care of 
the two Indians we had with us. So I got Yaiabi and his 
friend, and we climbed a small hill not far away, where 
we could see the fight when it commenced. 

The soldiers didn't all get out of the canyon until about 
three o'clock in the morning, and the pack train was not 

% Johnston Punishes the Indians 165 

all out when daylight came. In the meantime, General 
Johnston had strung the soldiers around the Indian camp. 

Just as day was breaking, an old Indian chief started a 
fire in front of his tepee, and was standing there call- 
ing to some of the other Indians, when a soldier shot him 
without orders. Then the fight commenced. How the 
guns did rattle ! It was almost too dark at first for me to 
see much of the fight, but it was getting fighter all the time. 
As we were coming down the canyon that night, the 
General gave me his field glasses to carry for him and I 
still had them. 

Along the edge of the lake grew a lot of bulrushes. 
Soon after the firing began, I could see the papooses run- 
ning into these rushes and hiding. From the volleys that 
were fired it got so smoky that I could not see very plainly, 
but the shooting soon stopped, and as the smoke rose, 
I could see everything that was going on. By this time 
they were in a terrible mixup, and were fighting fiercely, 
the soldiers with their bayonets and sabers, and the 
Indians with their clubs, axes, and knives. I could see 
little children not over five or six years old with sticks 
fighting like wildcats. I saw a soldier and an Indian that 
had clinched in a death struggle. They had each other by 
the hair of the head, and I saw a squaw run up to them with 
an ax and strike the soldier in the back and he sank to the 
ground, then she split his head with the ax. While she 
was doing this, a soldier ran a bayonet through her, and 
that is the way it was going over the whole battle ground. 
And what a noise they made ! with the kids squalling, 
the squaws yelling, the bucks yelping, the dogs barking, 
and the officers giving their orders to the soldiers. 

This was the worst battle and the last one that I ever 
saw. It lasted about two hours, and during that short 
period of time, every Indian, squaw, and papoose, and 

166 The White Indian Boy 

every dog was killed. After the battle, I was sent to 
bring up the baggage wagons to haul our wounded to Camp 

As we were on our way back to Camp Floyd with the 
wounded, and were passing through a rocky canyon, we 
were fired at by some straggling Indian, and I was shot 
through my left arm about half way between the wrist and 
elbow. The same bullet that went through my arm killed 
a soldier at my side. The one shot was all we heard, 
and we did not even see the one who fired it. I have 
sometimes wondered if that bullet was not sent especially 
for me. 

That spring the great war between the North and the 
South broke out, and General Johnston sold all of the 
government cattle and wagons very cheap, and went 
back East with his pack mules. I bought a yoke of oxen 
for eighteen dollars and a new wagon for ten. There 
must have been as many as ten thousand oxen bought at 
from twenty-five to fifty dollars a yoke. That summer 
the gold mines were opened in Montana and everything 
had to be hauled with ox teams, and the same oxen we 
had bought for eighteen dollars were worth from one 
hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars a yoke. The 
poor people that had been living on greens and " lumpy 
dick " for two or three years now began to get very wealthy 
and proud. The young ladies began to wear calico 
dresses, and I even saw young men who could afford to 
wear calico shirts and soldiers' blue overcoats and smoke 
store tobacco. 

I kept on swicging through the deserts 
Concord stage." 

in the ' boot ' of the 



Just before the soldiers left Camp Floyd, the Overland 
Stage line was opened from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacra- 
mento, California. Shortly afterward the telegraph line 
was completed across the continent. This ended the work 
of the Pony Express. Instead of the pony riders dashing 
on their wiry horses over prairies and mountain and 
desert, now came the stage drivers with their sturdy 
horses, four or six-in-hand, rolling along in their great Con- 
cord coaches, loaded with passengers, mail, and express. 

The stations, as before, were scattered along the trail 
from eight to sixteen miles apart, according to the water. 
These stations were mainly low dirt-roofed structures, 
built of logs or adobe or rock. After Johnston's army 
had decamped, the lumber left by them at Camp Floyd 
was used for some stations. They were large enough to 
accommodate six to eight horses, and had, partitioned 
from the stalls, one room for the stable keepers and an- 
other for provisions. Grain was hauled to them from the 


168 The White Indian Boy 

fields of Utah and California. Native hay was supplied 
from the grassy valleys through which the route lay, 
Traveling blacksmiths kept the horses shod, and the 
stages in repair. 

As a few of the stations had to be built where there was 
no spring or stream, it was necessary to haul water to 
them. This was my first work in connection with the 
Overland Stage. I had a good four-horse team and was 
given the job of supplying Canyon station with water. 

One day while I was unloading the water the stage came 
into this station. Major Howard Egan, who had charge 
of this division of the route, had the lines. The stage 
driver lay dead in "the boot" and one passenger was 
wounded. They had been shot by stage robbers, or 
"road agents," as we called them. Another driver must 
be had. The station keepers said they couldn't drive 
four horses, so Major Egan called on me. I hadn't had 
any experience handling the stage, but I tried it. The 
Major seemed to think I drove all right, for he didn't 
send any man to relieve me as he promised to do, so I 
kept on driving. Finally I sold my team and water out- 

An overland stage ready for a trip. 

The Overland Stage 169 

fit and became a regular stage driver. For about two 
years I kept on swinging over the rough and heavy roads 
through the deserts of Nevada in the "boot" of the 
Concord stage. 

The "boot" was the place where the driver sat perched 
in front. It was big enough to hold two passengers be- 
sides the driver ; and a thousand pounds or more of mail 
could be packed in the "boot" also. Behind this was the 
body of the coach, big enough to hold six passengers. 
They sat three on each seat, facing each other. It was 
hard on those not used to it to sit day and night through 
clouds of alkali dust or sand, through rain and slush, or 
snow and cold, cramped up in that stage. If we had to 
crowd more than six in, as we did occasionally, it was 
rather rough riding. When few passengers were along, or 
the mail was lighter, we made up our load with grain or 
other provisions to be distributed along at the various 
stations. So we were nearly always well loaded. Often 
we carried more than a ton of mail in the "boot," and 
strapped on the back platform. 

Some pictures I have seen of the Overland Stage have 
passengers on top. This is a mistake. There was no 
place on the rounded top for passengers. Some of the 
boys occasionally lashed packages there. The passen- 
gers would have had to be strapped on too, if they had 
tried the top, for they would have got pitched off in a 
hurry, the stage rocked so. The body of the stage was 
hung on great leather springs, and it swung with a kind of 
cradle motion as we dashed along. When a fellow learned 
how to swing with it, things went all right ; if he didn't, 
it was hard riding. 

The road was not only rough and wearisome ; it was 
dangerous. For a time the Indians were so troublesome 
that a soldier was sent with every stage. We should have 


The White Indian Boy 

Two Gosiute braves of Overland Stage 

felt safer without these 
soldiers though, for we 
knew how the Indians 
hated soldiers. The 
worst danger, however, 
was not from Indians; 
they got lots of blame 
that didn't belong to 
them. 1 1 was the ' ' road 
agents" that infested 
the country during those 
days that gave us most 

Many a time these 
desperadoes would hold 
up the stage on some lonely place on the road. They would 
spring out before the horses and order the driver to stop, 
or would shoot down a horse to stop the stage ; then after 
robbing the passengers and rifling the mail bags of their 
valuables, they would dash away with their plunder to their 
hiding places in the hills. 

Some drivers, when these outlaws came upon them, 
would put the whip to their horses and try to dash by 
them to safety. At times the boys managed to give the 
robbers the slip, but oftener the driver would be shot 
down in the attempt to escape. Then the horses, mad 
with fright, if no passenger was aboard to grab the lines, 
would run away, upset the coach, perhaps, and string 
things along the trail in great shape. Sometimes they 
have dashed into a station with nothing but the front 
wheels dragging behind them. 

I was lucky enough to escape such mishaps. The rob- 
bers never held me up ; but one day I did have one of my 
wheel horses shot down, by some skulking desperado or 

The Overland Stage 


Indian, we never knew which. I was swinging along a 
dugway down hill about two miles west of Canyon station 
when it happened. Three passengers — two men and a 
woman — were in the stage. A shot rang out and my 
off wheel horse dropped dead. 

I flung off the brake, knowing what was up, cracked my 
whip and away we went plunging down the hill, dragging 
the dead horse with us till I thought we were out of gunshot. 
No more shots came, so I stopped the team, jumped down 
and began to unhitch. The man inside the coach jumped 
out too, but instead of helping 
me, he grabbed the whip and 
begun to lash the team, yelling 
to me to go on. He was so 
scared he acted like a crazy 
man till his wife jumped out, 
grabbed the whip from his 
hand, and told him to behave 
himself. Then he cooled down 
a little ; and with the help of 
the other passenger, I got the 
dead horse out of the harness, 
hitched one of the leaders in 
his place, and drove on to the 
next station, without any more 
trouble. I never found out 
who did that devilish trick, but 
I don't believe it was stage 
robbers, though, for they would 
have followed us up and fin- 
ished their mischief. Other 

drivers, however, Were not SO Antelope Jake, an aged Gosiute 

lucky. Three different times Jndian who won his name by 

,-- . ,-, , . , . . killing antelope for Overland 

Major bgan brought in the stage stations, 


The White Indian Boy 

stage with the driver dead in the boot and the stage shot 
full of holes. At one time a driver who had been wounded 
by outlaws was loaded into my stage. We were trying to 
get him through to Salt Lake, but the poor fellow died 
while he was with me. No other passenger was along at 
the time. I couldn't help the sufferer much. It was a 
terrible experience, I tell you, for him and me too, that 
long night on the lonely Nevada desert. 

Afterwards I was changed to another division, driving 
in Nevada from Austin to Sand Wells. Jim Clift was 
division agent here. It was a heavy road, — full of sand ; 
but it wasn't so hard and heavy as another stretch that 
Ben Halliday, our big chief, gave me later. When he 
heard I was careful with the horses, that I didn't use 
them up as did some of the drivers they brought in from 
the East, who didn't know mountain life, he set me to 
driving from the Sink of Carson to Fort Churchill. I 
drove there that summer and winter and the next spring 

Antelope on the desert. 

Pictures of this kind were often sjen by Pony 
Express riders. 

The Overland Stage 



Howard R. Driyys 
Old stage station at Fort Hall or Ross's Fork, Idaho. 

I was sent to drive from Carson City to Virginia City, 

I arrived at Carson City about ten o'clock one very 
fine morning in June. The mail agent met me just as I 
entered the town, and told me to drive to Tim Smith's 
big rock stable and put up my horses. He told me that 
the line I was driving on was in dispute, and he would 
have to go to Salt Lake City to see who had the right of 
way. "Stay here until you hear from me," he said, "and 
board in that hotel across the street." With that he 
left me alone, seven hundred miles from home and among 
strangers. If he had left me in an Indian camp, I should 
have felt all right ; but to be left away out here among a 
lot of strange white folks was more than I could bear. 

I put my horses up, and while I was sitting out by the 
side of the stable, I saw a man come out of the hotel. He 
had on a white cap, and a white apron that reached from 
his chin to his feet. In each hand he had a big, round, 
brass thing. He pounded these together and made a 
fearful racket. I had never seen a hotel before, to say 

174 The White Indian Boy 

nothing of being in one, and as the men that worked in 
the barn came rushing past me, I asked one of them what 
was up. "Dinner," he said. I got up and went over to 
the hotel, and when I went in, I never saw such a sight 
before. They had tables all over the house, and people 
were rushing in and sitting down to them. 

I slipped in and took off my hat and stood by the side of 
the door waiting for some one to come up and ask me to 
sit down at a table, but nobody came. I stood there 
a while longer, and saw others come in and sit down at 
the tables without being asked, so I went sneaking up to 
a table and stood there, and as nobody asked me to sit 
down, I sat down anyhow. A waiter came up and began 
to mutter something to me. I asked, "What?" He got 
it off again. I told him that I did not know what he said, 
so he went out and brought me something to eat. I went 
over to the stable and sat down, and then I began think- 
ing of home. I didn't go back to the hotel that night for 
any supper, and when I went to bed, the fleas were so bad 
I didn't sleep a wink that night, and when morning came 
I was hungry, sleepy, tired, and homesick. 

Next morning I met one of the stable men. He asked 
me if I had been to breakfast. I told him I had not. 
" Come right on in," he said, taking me by the arm. The 
waiter came up and got off the same thing that he said 
the day before, and the man that was with me told him to 
fetch it along. I told the waiter to bring me the same. 
Well, I ate two or three breakfasts that morning to make 
up. Then I felt much better. 

After breakfast we went back to the stable, and pretty 
soon Tim Smith came in and said, "Young man, it may 
be three weeks before the right of way is settled, but if 
you want to go to work in the stable I will give you three 
dollars a day." I agreed and began to work. Tim Smith 

The Overland Stage 


was a one-armed man, and he had fourteen hostlers and a 
clerk that worked in the stable. The office was in one 
corner of the stable and a young man by the name of 
Billy Green was the clerk. He had charge of the men and 
was very kind and good to me. 

I was afraid to go out at night, so I stayed in the stable 
and helped Billy. It was a very large stable, holding over 
one hundred horses, and there was a good deal of work to 
do after dark. 

At that time Virginia City was booming. Two or three 
men were killed every day. I had not driven here very 
long before I saw a man hanged at what they called the 
Golden Gate. I don't remember what he had done, but 
I saw him hanged, anyway. 

Those were rough, wild days, and this was one of the 
roughest spots in the savage West. I was glad enough 
to leave it. After a few months of staging here, I quit 
the job and returned home. 

Spring at Rockwell's stage station, Salt Lake County, Utah. 

fv^-^'~^'- : '":->' : '' '- " ■ "' *■ T " '■ "■'"*"' ^yy. "r?'"-'j 

" All of us but the driver would walk ahead of the team." 



When I returned from Nevada to Utah, I found that 
mother had moved to Cache Valley, so I went up there 
and stayed all winter with her. It proved to be a very 
sad winter for me, though it began very happily. I found 
here my first sweetheart, a beautiful girl, who made me 
love her very dearly by her sweet ways and her kind 
heart; for she helped my mother nurse me through a 
dangerous illness. 

We had spent the time delightfully for about a month, 
when I got hurt. My horse, which I was riding one day 
very fast, struck some ice, slipped and fell, throwing me 
to the ground. My head struck the ice so hard that it 
nearly killed me. I was carried home ; brain fever came 
on and I lay in bed till spring. To make matters worse, 
the wound in my head broke out again and I was delirious 
for part of the time. But this dear girl stayed by my 
bedside day after day, and helped me past death's door. 
They thought I was dying one day, and she was driven 


A Terrible Journey 177 

half wild for fear I might go ; but the next day I had ral- 
lied and from then on I recovered very fast. 

Our intention was to get married ; but before we could 
realize our hopes they were blighted and destroyed by 
certain men who should have been our friends. These 
men poisoned the minds of her parents against me, while 
I was away driving the stage and guarding the cattle of 
the people against the Indians; her parents refused to 
allow her to answer my letters ; and finally they suc- 
ceeded in making her give me up and marry one of the 
men who had turned them against me. 

The little bunch of cattle, which I had bought with the 
money I had received for my team, were stolen that win- 
ter, presumably by the Indians. I hunted for them for a 
while, but not one did I ever get back. The money I had 
saved for a "wedding stake," I gave to mother ; and as I 
had no heart to stay in that town any longer, I started 
for the road again. 

That summer I worked for John Bolwinkle of Salt 
Lake City, as his wagon boss, in charge of his ox-team 
freighting from Carson City, Nevada. A mail route had 
been established from Salt Lake City to Bannock, Mon- 
tana, and Mr. Leonard I. Smith obtained the contract 
to carry this mail. Knowing of my experience in this 
business, he induced me to drive the stage from Salt 
Lake north that winter. 

We started out some time in November with a wagon- 
load of dry goods to trade for horses along the road. 
Besides this, we had one light coach and two buggies, in 
which were seven passengers. We went on our journey 
through Ogden, Brigham City, and other towns north, 
buying what horses we could as we went along. For a few 
days we stopped at Soda Springs to arrange about mak- 
ing a mail station there. At that time a large company 

178 The White Indian Boy 

of soldiers were wintering in the town. It was the plan 
of Mr. Smith to make me division agent from Soda 
Springs to Salt Lake, but I was to go on with him to Ban- 
nock to get acquainted with the whole route. 

When we got to Bannock, winter had set in. It 
snowed very hard while we were there, and kept snowing 
all of the way back. By the time we got to Snake River, 
the snow was deep, and there was no place where we 
could buy feed for our horses. We had two passengers 
with us, and Mr. Smith had not provided us with supplies 
enough to last us half way back to Soda Springs. 

We could not travel as fast as he had planned on ac- 
count of the deep snow, and the horses were getting very 
weak for want of food. For these reasons we could not 
come back on the road by which we had gone, so we kept 
down the Snake River to where the Blackfoot empties into 
it. There we ate the last of our provisions. We were 
still one hundred miles from any place where we could 
get more, and the snow was becoming deeper every day. 
When we got up the Ross Fork Canyon we had to stop 
for the night. Here three of the horses gave out, and we 
had to leave them and one of the buggies. We had left 
the coach at Beaver Canyon. 

The next morning we started before breakfast, for we 
had eaten the last thing the morning before. The snow 
kept falling all the time, and by noon, it was at least three 
feet deep. All of us but the driver would walk ahead of 
the team to break the road. We had four horses on the 
buggy, and the buggy would push up the snow ahead of it 
until it would run in over the dashboard and sides. 
That day two more of the horses gave out and we had to 
leave them, but we reached the head of the Portneuf. 

That night we all turned out and kicked the snow off 
a little space so the poor horses could get some frozen 

*, A Terrible Journey 179 

grass, but it was so very cold and they were so tired that 
they could not eat very much. 

The next morning we made another early start, and 
Mr. Smith said we would get to Soda Springs that day, 
but I knew we could not get there that day, nor the next 
day, either. I told the passengers that if we were to leave 
the buggy, we might make it in two days, but the way we 
were fooling along with the worn-out horses, we never 
would get there. They told Mr. Smith what I said and he 
upbraided me for it. He said I had scared the passengers 
nearly to death and he wanted me to stop. 

Well, by noon that day, we came to the road we had 
come out on, but Mr. Smith did not know the place and 
wanted to follow the road over which we had traveled in 
going to Bannock. I told him the way we wanted to go 
was south, but the way he wanted to go was north. He 
told me I was wrong and ordered me to keep still. 
"Well," I said, "I will go to Soda Springs and you can go 
to the other place," so I took what I wanted out of the 
buggy and started off, but I had not gone far when I 
heard some one calling me. It was so foggy and the 
frost was falling so fast that I could see only a few yards, 
and as I hesitated about going back, one of the passen- 
gers came up to me and asked me if I was sure I knew 
where I was going, and begged me to come back to the 

One of the passengers was a large, strong Irishman, 
and appeared to be well educated ; the other was a sickly 
looking Englishman. I don't remember their names, but 
they called each other Mike and Jimmy. I went back 
to the buggy and Mike saw that I did not want anything 
to say to Mr. Smith, so he did the talking. He questioned 
Mr. Smith and then me for quite a while, and then he 
said he believed that I was right. He told the driver to 


The White Indian Boy 

A Terrible Journey 181 

turn the team around and follow me. The driver obeyed 
although it made Mr. Smith very angry. 

After turning south we had not traveled over four miles, 
when one of the remaining horses gave out and we could 
not get the poor thing to move, so we had to leave the 
buggy. We went on about three or four hundred yards 
to a clump of quaking aspen, and built a large fire. When 
we all got warm, I went to bring up the horses and buggy, 
and when I got back to the fire, Mr. Smith and Mike were 
quarreling. Mr. Smith said that we were going away 
from Soda Springs, and that he intended to turn and go 
the other way. 

It was already quite dark, but we could travel just as 
well in the night as in the day, for we could not see very 
far anyhow on account of the fog. I said I knew I was 
right and for all those who wanted to go to Soda Springs 
to fall in line, for I was going to start right then. I went 
to the buggy and got a pair of buffalo moccasins I had 
there, put them on, and started down the trail. "Hold 
on," called Mike, "I will go with you." Then Jimmy 
said he was not going to stay there and starve to death, 
that he would go with us, too. So the three of us went 
our way and left Mr. Smith and the driver standing there 
in the fog and snow. 

It was about eleven o'clock at night when we left the 
buggy. We did not feel much like pushing our way through 
the snow, for we had already walked many miles that day, 
and had been three days without anything to eat. Mike 
said he would take the lead to break the path, I was to 
come next, and Jimmy was to follow me. There was 
about a foot of snow with a crust on it, not quite hard 
enough to hold one up, and on top of this was about two 
feet of fighter snow, so you see it was very hard traveling. 

We had not been out over two hours, when Mike said 

182 The White Indian Boy 

his feet were frozen. I had a few matches in my pocket 
wrapped in paper, and we kicked around to find some dry 
sagebrush, but it was all wet and frozen. We broke up 
some and tried to make a fire, but it would not burn. 
Pretty soon Mike said we should give him the matches 
and he would try it. He took them and laid them down 
by his side while trying to light one, and Jimmy came up, 
struck them with his foot, and scattered them all through 
the snow. We could not find a single one of them, so we 
had to go without any fire. 

We trudged along, stumbling over sagebrush and rock 
until morning. Mike said we must be very near Soda 
Springs, for he thought we had traveled twenty miles or 
more during the night, and he could not believe me when 
I told him we had not made over eight miles. I told them 
before we left the buggy that it was about thirty miles to 
Soda Springs, so I knew we had over twenty miles yet. 

Jimmy and I were about played out, and had to stop 
every little while to rest. Mike had long legs, but Jimmy 
and I were so short that when we tried to step in his 
tracks we had to jump, and that made it harder for 
Jimmy and me. During the night we had traveled too far 
to the east and had left the trail through the lava beds 
and sagebrush, and had started to cross the big meadow 
and swamps along the Blackfoot River. The tall slough 
grass and bulrushes were so tangled and frozen together 
that we could hardly get through them. Sometimes Mike 
would forget himself and step about six feet over a large 
mass of grass and rushes, and Jimmy and I would have 
to wallow through them. 

About noon the fog rose a little and we could see a large 
butte which we called the Chinaman's Hat, and which I 
knew was twelve miles from Soda Springs. The butte 
was about four miles ahead of us, which would make it 

A Terrible Journey 183 

sixteen miles from where we were to Soda. Jimmy said 
his feet were frozen, and that he was too tired to go much 
farther. I was about worn out, too, so we were in a 
pretty bad fix. The fog soon settled again, and was so 
thick that we could not see fifty yards, and we were all so 
tired out that I knew we could not reach the Chinaman 's 
Hat before ten o'clock that night. 

We decided that we must not stop to rest more than 
ten minutes at any time, and that at least one of us must 
keep awake, for we knew that if all wejit to sleep at the 
same time we would never again wake up. 

It was a bitter cold night. There was no wind blowing, 
and it was very still, not even a bird, rabbit, or coyote 
was to be seen or heard — not a sound but the ringing in 
our ears. By this time I had gotten over my being hungry, 
but I was very thirsty, and I had eaten so much snow 
to satisfy my thirst that my mouth and tongue had be- 
come so sore and swollen that I could scarcely speak. 
Jimmy was so used up by this time that we could hardly 
get him to move after we had stopped to rest, and Mike 
would sometimes carry him a little way ; but Jimmy said 
it hurt him, so Mike would have to put him down again. 

Well, night was coming on again, and I do not think 
we had traveled over three or four miles that day, but we 
were doing the best we could. About four o'clock in the 
afternoon we stopped for a minute's rest ; I settled back 
in the snow and put one foot out for Jimmy to lay his 
head on. Soon it was time to start again and I shook 
Jimmy, but he did not stir. Mike had already started, 
so I pulled my foot out from under Jimmy's head, and as 
I did so his head sank in the snow. Then I took hold of 
him and tried to raise him, but I could not. I called for 
Mike, and when he came back, we raised Jimmy up, and 
I saw that he was dead. 


The White Indian Boy 

I cannot tell you what happened in the next half hour, 
but from what he said in his sorrow over Jimmy's death, 
I learned for the first time that Jimmy had married Mike's 
sister. After a while I scraped the snow away clear to the 
ground, and while doing this, I found a dry thistle stalk 
about fourteen inches long. I took the dead man's coat 
off, laid him in the hole, spread the coat over his face, 
and covered him with snow, making a little mound like a 
grave. I tore some of the lining from my coat, tied it to 
the thistle, and stuck it over the grave. 

It was hard work to get Mike started again. He said 
we were all going to die anyway, and he would rather 
stay there with Jimmy. I told him we were nearly to 
Soda Springs, and if he would try, we could get there ; 
but he said I had told him that so much that he didn't 
believe I knew where Soda Springs was. He said I had 

Shoshone tepee. Brush across entrance 
means " No one at home." 

A Terrible Journey 185 

told him when we first started from the buggy that it was 
only thirty miles and he knew we had traveled over 
seventy miles by this time. I told him I knew if we trav- 
eled as fast as we could that we would be in Soda Springs 
in two hours. 

We talked there a long time, and I began to think that 
Mike had really made up his mind not to try to go on any 
more, when just before dark he seemed to take fresh 
courage. He jumped up and started out so fast that I 
could not keep up with him. After a while he stopped 
and sat down again in the snow, and when I caught up 
to him I found him sound asleep. I let the poor fellow 
sleep a few minutes, and then I found it almost impossible 
to wake him. After pulling and shaking him, I finally 
got him on his feet, but he would start off the wrong way. 
Then I would get hold of him and start him off right, but 
he would turn around and go the wrong way. He did 
not know what he was doing, so I had to take the lead. 
Then he would stop and I would have to go back and get 

After a little time he seemed to come to himself, and 
took the lead again for about a mile, and then he sat down 
in the snow and said he was done for, and that he would 
not go another step. I did all I could to rouse him, but 
he would not stir. He gave me a small memorandum 
book and a little buckskin bag full of gold dust, and told 
me he had a sister living in Mississippi, and that I would 
find her address in the book. I talked to him a long time 
to try to get him to come with me, but he would not 

I saw that it was of no use, and that I would have to 
leave him or lie down in the snow and die with him. This 
I felt like doing, but for the sake of my mother and sisters, 
I thought I would make one more effort to reach the 

186 The White Indian Boy 

town, so I left him and had gone about seventy-five 
yards, when I stumbled over something and fell head- 
long into the snow. I cleared the snow away from my 
face, and sat there thinking about home and how badly 
my mother would feel if she knew where I was, and how 
easy it would be to He there in the snow and go to sleep. 

Drowsiness had nearly overcome me when, suddenly, I 
heard the far-away tinkle of a bell. I knew then that I was 
not far from Soda Springs. I jumped up and ran back to 
Mike as fast as I could go, and when I got to him, I found 
him stretched out on the snow with his hands folded 
over his breast and sound asleep. It was all but impossible 
to wake him. I am certain he would have died if he had 
been left ten minutes longer. When I got him awake 
enough to tell him about the bell, the sound had ceased. 
He would not believe what I told him about it, so I could 
not get him to come with me. 

I went back to the place where I first heard the bell and 
sat down again. In a few minutes I heard it louder than 
before. Then I rushed back to Mike and found him 
awake, and when I got him to listen he heard the bell this 
time, too. He jumped up and started so fast in the di- 
rection of the sound that I could not keep up with him. 
When he would see me falling behind, he would come back 
and take hold of my hands and pull me along. I begged 
him to let me alone and told him it hurt me to be jerked 
over the snow in that way. Then he would kick the 
snow and say that he would make a good road for me if I 
would only come. 

We had traveled this way for about half an hour, when 
the fog rose a little and we saw, a short distance ahead 
of us, a faint light. He then left me and started for 
the light as fast as he could go. I tried to follow, but 
slipped and fell, and found that I could not get up again. 

A Terrible Journey 187 

Many times I tried to rise, but fell back every time. I 
thought if I lay there a while and rested, then perhaps 
I could get up and go on. I guess I must have fallen 
asleep, for the first thing I knew, two men had hold of 
me and were carrying me to the hotel where we had seen 
the light. Mike had reached there and had told the men 
in the hotel that one of his companions was dead and an- 
other was out there just a little way dying in the snow. 

When we got to the door, Mike was standing there with 
a big glass of whiskey in his hand. " Down this, old boy," 
he said, "and it will be the making of you," but I could 
not bear the smell of this liquor, to say nothing of drink- 
ing it. 

They set me down in a chair near the stove, but the heat 
soon made me feel sick, and I had to move as far from the 
fire as I could get. The cook brought something for us to 
eat, but my mouth and tongue hurt me so that I could 
hardly eat anything. Then the light began to grow dim 
and I could feel them shaking me and could hear them 
talking to me, but I could not answer, for my tongue was so 
swollen. Then I seemed to go away off. 

The next thing I remember, they were telling me that 
the doctors had come, and I saw that the house was full 
of people. They told me that Mike's feet were frozen and 
that two men were holding them in a tub of cold water to 
try to draw the frost out. The doctor was pulling my 
moccasins off and I heard him say that my feet were all 
right. It seems that they were giving me hot soup or 
something every minute, but I was so sleepy that I hardly 
knew what was going on. I soon found myself in bed 
with two doctors standing over me. One of them was 
the faithful Doctor Palmer who, years afterwards, be- 
came a dear friend and neighbor of mine. He told me 
they had just brought in the dead man, and that they 

188 The White Indian Boy 

did not know what to do with him until either Mike or I 
was able to talk. They were going to hold an inquest 
over the body and wanted witnesses to tell how he died. 
I tried to ask if they had sent for Mr. Smith, but they 
could not understand what. I said. 

I don't know how much time had passed, when an army 
officer came in and began talking to Doctor Palmer. I 
heard Doctor Palmer say, "Is that so?" The officer 
said it was. Then Doctor Palmer said, "I did not know 
he was that bad." I rose to ask what was the matter, 
but Doctor Palmer told me to lie still. The officer said, 
" Shall I tell him?" Doctor Palmer said, "Not now, 
let the other doctor tell him." The officer went out and 
soon the old doctor came in. He told me that the man 
who came with me had his feet so badly frozen that he 
could not save them and they would have to be taken off. 
He said he would leave Sergeant Chauncey with me while 
Doctor Palmer assisted him in cutting off Mike's feet. 
He told me to keep very quiet and in a few days I would 
be all right. 

About two hours after Mike and I reached the hotel, a 
company of men started out to find Mr. Smith ; and when 
they reached the buggy, they found Mr. Smith and the 
driver all right. They had the meat of two horses cut 
up and hanging in the trees. When they told Mr. Smith 
that Mike and I had reached Soda Springs but that Jimmy 
was dead, he said he was surprised that we were not all 
dead, for he was certain that I was leading them right 
away from the town. 

The party that went out for Mr. Smith got back the 
day the doctors were going to cut Mike's feet off. Mr. 
Smith came in to see me, and he almost cried when he saw 
the fix I was in. He said he would take me right to Salt 
Lake City, where I would get better care than I could in 

A Terrible Journey 


S. N. Leek, Jackson, Wyoming 
Winter scene near Uncle Nick's home in Jackson's Hole. Thousands of 
elk come into this valley during the " snowy moons." 

Soda Springs. They would not allow him to move me, 
however, though he tried his hardest to take me. 

Owing to the skill of Doctor Palmer I got along pretty 
well, but it was several weeks before I was able to get 
around very much. Poor Mike suffered terribly after his 

190 The White Indian Boy 

feet were taken off, but he got well and strong as ever, 
except for the loss of his feet. 

When I got well, I drove the mail from Soda Springs 
to Franklin during the rest of the winter. That June 
Jimmy's wife came out from Mississippi. She was Mike's 
sister, and a most beautiful woman. 

She and Mike induced me to stop driving the mail for a 
while and take them back over the road we traveled those 
awful days to reach Soda Springs. I secured a buggy for 
us to ride in, a small spring wagon to carry the camp out- 
fit, and a good cook to go with us to do the cooking and 
drive the mess wagon. 

We first stopped where Jimmy died. The spot was 
still marked by the pieces of my coat lining that were ly- 
ing around. Then we went to where we had left Mr. Smith 
and his driver. When we reached the place where Mr. 
Smith wanted to turn north and follow the old trail in the 
wrong direction, Mike told his sister that if it had not 
been for me that day, they would all have gone the wrong 
way and there, somewhere on that lonely trail, have per- 
ished in the snow. From there we went to the Snake 
River, where we had eaten our last meal on that awful 

We found here a large band of Indians, and among them 
were several that I was acquainted with. We could not 
get away from them, they were so glad to see me, so we 
stayed here four days. They wanted to know why I 
didn't come back in those days and live with them all the 
time. Then I had to tell them all about where I had been 
ever since I went away from them and what I had been 
doing all that time. They took turns asking me questions 
until I thought they would talk me to death. 

These were the first Indians this woman had ever seen, 
and she was frightened of them until she noticed how 

A Terrible Journey 191 

glad they were to see me and how kind they were ; then she 
felt better towards them. She said she was delighted to 
hear me talk to them, that they were certainly a queer 
people, and that I must have been a strange boy to leave 
my home and go to live with them. 

After I had finished my visit with the Indians we 
turned back over the same road. When we got to mother's 
home, Mike and his sister stayed with us three weeks. 
They kept trying all the time to induce me to go with 
them to her home in Mississippi, but my mother objected 
so strongly that I would not go, although I wanted to very 
much. They would have treated me very kindly, I am 
sure. They even offered to share their property with me ; 
but I thought more of my mother than I did of anybody 
else in the world and I could not leave her to make my 
home among strangers. 

Finally she came to my white mother's home. 



"What became of your old Indian mother, Washakie, 
Hanabi, and the rest?" This question has been asked 
me again and again. "Did you ever see them again?" 
"What other experiences did you have with the Indians?" 
Such queries as these have been sent to me from even 
far-off France by people who have read the first edition 
of my little book. 

To satisfy my readers on these points and others that 
may be of interest, I have added a few more chapters to 
my story. 

When I left my dear old Indian mother up north on 
"Pohogoy," or Ross Fork, — a place near the Snake River, 
— I promised her I would come back to her. That promise 
I intended to keep ; but I was prevented from doing so 
by other pressing duties, till it was too late. 

She waited a year for her " Yagaki" to return, then her 
sorrow became so great she couldn't bear it longer and 
she started out to hunt me up. The Indians told me 
later that after I had been gone a few months my old 


My Old Shoshone Friends 193 

mother would roam off in the mountains and lonely 
places and stay until hunger would drive her home. Fi- 
nally she came to my white mother's home in Grantsville 
to find her boy. My mother made her welcome, taking 
my Indian mother into her home, feeding her, and pro- 
viding her with a room as one of the family. 

Then she wrote me that my two mothers wanted me to 
come home. I wished with all my heart to do so, but at 
that time I was about five hundred miles away, out on 
the mail line, badly wounded in the head by an Indian 
arrow. When I recovered enough to travel, I had to go 
to work again. The Indians at this time were burning 
stations and killing men every chance they got. Riders 
became so scarce and hard to get that I could not well 
leave, no matter how I felt. 

When I finally did get away, I found that my own 
mother, as I have said before, had moved into Cache 
Valley, and my old Indian mother had left her, broken- 
hearted because she had not found her papoose. She 
had stayed with my white mother for more than two 
months. When I did not return as she expected, she 
grew suspicious that my white mother had hidden me 
away; and no words could comfort her or change her 
mind. Finally she went off with some Indians who came 

My mother urged me to hunt her up. She had taken 
quite a fancy to the Indian woman. She thought it my 
duty to find and care for her the rest of her life. I felt so 
too. She had been a dear friend to me. She had cared 
for me and protected me from harm, even saving my life 
several times. 

The next word I got of my Indian mother was that she 
was dead. This sad news came from a band of Shoshones 
I found in the Bear Lake Valley. Hearing they were 


The White Indian Boy 





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1 a 



i 1 1 

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My Old Shoshone Friends 195 

there, I had gone to see them, thinking to meet some of 
my old Indian friends. But those I wished most to see 
were not among the band. My dear old mother, they 
told me, had died about three years after I left. Washakie 
was then out in the Wind River country. As these In- 
dians were going there, I decided to go with them. 

We found Washakie at South Pass. He was very 
glad to see me, and treated me like a brother. But 
he could not tell me just where our mother was buried, 
as he had happened to be away from her when she died. 
He only knew that her grave was somewhere on Ham's 
Fork 1 in Wyoming. He found an Indian who said he 
knew where it was. I offered to give him a pony if he 
would guide me to it. He agreed, and we went back to 
the head of Ham's Fork. We found the camping place 
they were at when she died, but not the grave, though we 
hunted for three days together, and I stayed another day 
after he left. Since then I have passed the place many 
times and have searched again and again ; for I did de- 
sire to carry out my old Indian mother's wish to be buried 
like the whites, but I have never found her grave. 

It was the custom of the Indians to bury their dead in 
some cleft of rocks or wash. They left no mark over the 
grave, but they usually buried with the body articles the 
deceased had treasured in life, as weapons, clothing, etc. 
In the grave with my dear old mother they placed the 
beaded and tasseled quiver she had made of the skin of 
the antelope I had killed, the auger I had sent to Salt 
Lake for, and other things of mine she had kept after I 
went away. There are those who think an Indian has no 
heart. This dear old woman certainly had one that was 
tender and true. Her soul was good and pure. Peace 
to her memory. 

1 A branch of the Green River. 

196 The White Indian Boy 

Washakie's wife Hanabi was another good woman. 
She, too, had died before I returned to the Indians. Her 
little girl papoose, the baby when I was with them, grew 
up, I have been told, and married. 

Washakie married another squaw by whom he had 
several children. One of them, Dick Washakie, is still 
living in the Wind River country. He is a wealthy Indian, 
and has considerable influence. 

When these Shoshone Indians made their treaty with 
the government there were three reservations set apart 
for the Shoshone tribe — Fort Hall, Lemhi, and Wind 
River. Washakie was given his choice. He took the 
Wind River reserve because, as he told me afterwards, it 
had been his boyhood home, and his father was buried 
there. Here Washakie spent the rest of his life, honored 
by his tribe and respected for his goodness and his wis- 
dom by all the whites who knew him. During the early 
nineties he passed to the Happy Hunting Grounds. 

I saw Washakie many times before he died. We were 
always brothers. When I lived in Rloomington, Rear 
Lake County, Idaho, the chief often came and stayed 
with me. He was always made welcome in my home, 
and his lodge was always open to me. During the time 
of Chief Joseph's War, Washakie brought his band and 
camped for some months near my ranch on Rear River ; 
and every day he would come to get the news of the war. 
My wife would read the paper and I would interpret it 
for the Indians. 

While this war was on, the whites would not sell am- 
munition to the Indians without a letter of recommenda- 
tion, or "Tabop," as they called it. The Indians all 
came to me for these letters. My home for years was 
their headquarters. They would have eaten me out of 
house and home if the ward authorities had not come to 
my rescue and helped to feed these Red Rrethren. 

I would 

ride the round of the traps." 



But the Indians were not always a burden. They 
sometimes gave me good help. At one time in particular 
I found an Indian who proved a friend in need. It was 
during the winter of 1866-7, the year after I had brought 
my wife from Oxford, Idaho, to Bloomington. 

"Hogitsi," a Shoshone Indian, with his family, was 
wintering in the town at the time. The whites called 
him "Hog," but he hadn't a bit of the hog in his nature. 
I found him to be one of the best Indians I ever knew. 

After I had got well acquainted with him, he proposed 
that we try trapping to make some money. I was hard 
up ; my family was destitute of food and clothing, for I 
had hard luck that summer, so I was ready to try anything. 

We set to work over in Nounan Valley on a little stream 
about fifteen miles from home. The results were very 
encouraging. At the end of the first week we came back 
with sixty dollars' worth of furs. It was the easiest 
money I ever made in my life. Such success made us 
ready to try again. 


198 The White Indian Boy 

New York Zoological Society 
A mink. 

"Hog" proposed that we go down to the Portneuf 
country and spend the winter at the trapping business. 
He said he knew of a stream there that was full of beaver 
and mink and other fur animals. I was anxious to go, 
but my wife protested that she could not think of my 
going off for a whole winter with an Indian. She was 
sure I would be scalped. It was hard work for me to 
persuade her that under our circumstances it was the 
right thing to do. She finally consented, however, and 
we set to work to get ready. 

With "Hog" to help we soon had enough winter's 
wood chopped up to last my family through the winter. 
I did all I could otherwise to leave them comfortable; 
but the best I could do was not enough to keep them 
from having a hard time of it while I was away. 

I had three horses. " Hog " got two more from Thomas 
Rich ; and Joseph Rich, who kept a store in Paris, sup- 
plied us with provisions and camp outfit upon our agree- 
ing to sell to him what furs we should get. 

It was about a week after New Year's that we struck 
out northward through the cold and snow. The snow 
got deeper and deeper as we went on towards Soda Springs. 

Trapping with an Indian 


It seemed impossible to make our destination. I sug- 
gested that we turn back, but "Hog" wouldn't listen to 
me. He said that we would find the snow lighter from 
there on, and it would be only a day or two more before 
we got to the Portneuf. So I yielded and we pushed on 
till we reached Dempsey Creek, a branch of the Port- 
neuf. Here we made our winter camp at the base of the 
lava cliffs that border the stream near where it empties 
into the Portneuf. We chose a good place on the sunny 
side of the rock, and built our quarters. A cleft up the 
face of the cliff served us well. By building up a fourth 
side to this cleft, we made a fine chimney and fire- 
place. Around this we made our shack — of quaking 
aspen poles and willows, and long grass to thatch it. 
For a door we used the skins of two white-tailed deer 
stretched over a quaking aspen frame. Our house was a 
cosy shelter from the storms, and roomy enough to store 


r&t ' 


rruiL : "- 

Hi x 

Beaver and beaver lodge. 

New York Zoological Society 

200 The White Indian Boy 

our bales of furs. For wood we used cedar, which grew 
near by. 

Within the cedars we found plenty of black-tail deer, 
while in the willows the white-tail were so numerous that 
we had little trouble to get all we needed. Trout we could 
catch at any time ; so we had food in abundance. 

When it came to trapping, we found beaver and mink 
so thick that it was no trick at all to catch them. Otter 
were not so plentiful, but we did land several of these 
beautiful animals. 

I tended the traps and did the cooking. Hogitsi skinned 
the animals, stretched the fur, and kept watch of the 
horses. He was a good worker — not a lazy thing about 
him. Usually he was in bed an hour before me, and up 
an hour earlier. By the time I was ready to tumble out, he 
had the fire roaring, and was at work on the skins. While 
I got breakfast, he would look after the horses, and bring 
my old buckskin mare to camp. After breakfast I 
would get on her and ride the rounds of the traps to see 
what luck the night had brought. Usually I found the 
traps all sprung and a beaver or mink or sometimes an 
otter in them, tail up, and drowned in the stream. For 
we weighted the traps with a rock to hold the animal, 
when caught, under water. If the animal is not drowned, 
he will often gnaw off his foot and get away. After 
taking out the game, I would reset the traps, and return 
to camp with my load. 

To keep the traps going kept me busy all day. We 
caught animals so fast that I had sometimes to stop and 
help Hogitsi catch up with his skinning and stretching. 
We would sit up at times late at night at this work. 
Evidently little trapping, if any, had ever been done on 
this stream, for the animals seemed not to know what a 
trap meant, 

Trapping with an Indian 201 

If it hadn't been for the worry I had for my dear ones at 
home, the winter would have been a pleasant one in 
every way. It was one of the easiest I ever spent, and 
most profitable. I never have made money faster than I 
did that winter. When springtime came, we had about 
seven hundred pounds of fur. At that time mink and 
beaver skins sold at two dollars per pound; otter was 
worth one dollar a foot. A stretched otter skin would 
often bring nine dollars or more. 

When we turned over our pack to Mr. Rich, we found 
we had $900.00 due us after paying all our expenses. 
He paid us in gold, silver, and greenbacks. Hogitsi was 
scared when he saw the pile ; and when it came to divid- 
ing, he certainly proved that he was no hog ; for he 
simply would not take his full share. He insisted that 
we should not have had any if it hadn't been for me ; 
that it would "make him too rich." 

This streak of good luck gave me a new start. My 
wife felt better about the trapping business ; but she had 
no desire to repeat the experience of that winter ; and, 
as I found other profitable work to do, I did not turn to 
trapping again as a business, though I have done a good 
deal of this work at various times since. And I have 
also done a good deal of trading in furs with the trappers. 

This trading has brought me into acquaintanceship 
with a good many of the mountaineers. It was through 
this that I came to know Kit Carson, who came to my 
home hunting his trapper son-in-law, Sims, one winter. 
Sims was wintering near at the time. Kit stopped over 
night with me. I brought his son-in-law to my home 
and they made up their troubles. Kit wanted to stay 
with me for a while. I took him in, and we boarded and 
lodged him for several months. We had a good time to- 
gether swapping yarns that winter, I can tell you. 

' We intend to tie you to that tree and burn you alive.' " 



When the government undertook the task of settling 
the Indians on the reservations, I was given the job of 
helping the Indian Agent of the Fort Hall reservation 
gather and keep the Redmen within bounds. This was 
no easy task. The Indians found it hard, after their 
many years of roving life, to be restrained. They often 
grew discontented, complaining at times that they were 
being cheated and otherwise mistreated. It is a well- 
known fact that they often had much cause to complain. 
The Indians have been abused shamefully by the whites at 
times, and I know it. Our dealings with the Redmen 
reflect no great credit on us. 

If the Indians became disgruntled, as they frequently 
did, they would slip away to the mountains in a sulky 
mood. Whenever they did this, it was my business to 
bring them back. This task was not only disagreeable, 
but sometimes dangerous. 

At one time a band under the lead of old Sagwich got 
angry over something, and struck for the hills, strongly 


Working on the Indian Reservation 203 

determined that they would not come back to the reser- 
vation again. 

I was sent to bring them back ; they had a week the 
start of me. I had a good horse, however, and taking 
with me an Indian boy named Suarki, to lead the pack 
horse, I started out. The second day we struck their 
trail, and knowing well the signs they always leave be- 
hind them, we followed it easily ; but it led us over a 
hundred and fifty miles through a rough country before 
we found the runaway band. 

On the sixth day we came upon them camped on the 
Salmon River. We pitched our camp about a hundred 
yards away. After unsaddling our horses, I went over 
to have a talk with them. 

Old Sagwich was very angry. He said he knew what I 
was after, but he wouldn't go back ; and I would not go 
back either, for they would fix me so that I couldn't give 
them any more trouble. He said I ought to be their friend, 
but instead of that I was helping to bring more trouble to 
them. The whites he accused of lying to them and rob- 
bing them of their hunting ground and forcing them to 


Trading post at Fort Hall Indian reservation, Idano. 


The White Indian Boy 

Bureau of Indian Affairs 

Piute Indian girl carrying corn (Southern Utah). 

work at something they knew nothing about. They 
would bear it no longer; they would fight first. The 
old chief grew angrier as he went on. 

"You need not think of escaping this time," he said to 
me. "We intend to tie you to that tree and burn you 
alive." I tried to reason with them, telling them I knew 
I was in their power ; but it wouldn't do them any good 
to kill me. If they did, the soldiers would soon follow 
and kill the last one of them. 

Working on the Indian Reservation 205 

"We are not afraid of the soldiers," he retorted. "We 
would rather die fighting than starve." 

"Well," I replied, "if you kill me, you will kill one of 
the best friends the Indians ever had." 

But nothing I could say seemed to make any difference 
with old Sagwich. He was determined to carry out his 
threat. If he had his way I knew he would do it. The 
other Indians, however, were not so devilish. One of 
them gave me some fresh elk meat, and I went back to 
my camp. Things looked rather black for me that night. 
My only hope was that the other Indians would not stand 
by old Sagwich. 

If the worst came, I had determined to sell my life as 
dearly as possible. The Indians held a council that night. 
We kept close watch till morning, but as no one offered 
to harm us, we began to feel a little easier. After sad- 
dling our horses, I told Suarki I was going over to have 

Dr. T. M. Bridges 
At the Indian agency ; squaw with papoose in Indian cradle. 

206 The White Indian Boy 

another talk with them, and instructed him that if they 
made a move to kill me, he should leap on my horse and 
strike for home to tell the Indian Agent. 

Old Sagwich was so sulky he wouldn't even speak to me. 
The other Indians, however, acted better. They said 
nothing of what had been decided, but that day they 
packed up and took the trail towards home. We followed 
them. On our way down the river we came upon one of 
the Indians fishing. He told me about the council. Old 
Sagwich was stubborn in his determination to kill me, 
but the rest wouldn't consent and he had to give up his 
bloody plan. 

This experience made me feel that my job was too 
risky for the pay I was getting. The Agent wouldn't 
raise my wages, so I quit him and went back to my home 
at Oxford, Idaho. 

rasa- *»£«#* 

" Two Indians were behind them, both on an old horse of mine." 



Later, we moved back into the Bear Lake, where we 
made our home for twenty years. During this time I 
was often called on to do dangerous service in the interest 
of our settlements. After the Indian troubles were over, 
we had outlaws to deal with who were worse than Indians. 
For a long time the frontier communities suffered from 
depredations committed by cattle rustlers and horse 
thieves. Organized bands operated from Montana to 
Colorado. They had stations about a hundred miles 
apart in the roughest places in the mountains. They 
would often raid our ranges and steal all the cattle and 
horses they could pick up, driving them into their moun- 
tain retreat. They got so daring finally that they even 
came into the settlements and robbed stores and killed 
men. The colonists did not get together to stop these 
outrages till after a fatal raid was made upon Montpelier, 
when a store was robbed and a clerk was shot dead. 
This roused the people of the valley to action. Gen. Charles 
C. Rich called upon the leaders of the towns to send two 


208 The White Indian Boy 

men from each settlement — the best men to be had — 
to pursue and punish the outlaws. Fourteen men re- 
sponded to the call, among them four of the leaders 
themselves. It fell to my lot to be one of this posse. 

We struck across the mountains east of Bear Lake, 
following the trail of the robbers to their rendezvous on 
the Big Piney, a tributary of the Green River. We 
knew that they had hidden themselves in this country, 
for two of the men with us, whose stock had been stolen, 
had followed the robbers to their den to recover their 
property. Finding the outlaws in such force, they didn't 
dare to claim their stolen stock but returned to Bear 
Lake for help. 

These men led us to the place where they had come 
upon the outlaws ; but the outlaws had evidently feared 
pursuit and moved camp. To hide their tracks they 
had driven their wagons up the creek right in the water 
for over a mile. Then they had left the creek and driven 
up a little ravine and over a ridge. As we rode up this 
ravine, to the top of the ridge, the two men who were in 
the lead sighted the tepees of the robbers in the hollow 
below. They dodged back to keep out of sight, and we 
all rode down into the thick willows on the Big Piney, hid- 
ing our horses and ourselves among them. The two men 
that had sighted the outlaw camp then slipped up the hill 
again on foot, secreting themselves in the sagebrush at the 
top of the ridge, and watched the rest of the afternoon to 
see whether the outlaws had mistrusted anything; but 
they showed no sign of having seen us. At dark they 
came and reported. 

We held council then to decide what plan to pursue to 
capture the outlaws. As the robbers outnumbered us, 
more than two to one, and were well armed, it was serious 
business. Our sheriff weakened when the test came ; he 

Frontier Troubles 209 

said he couldn't do it, and turned his papers over to 
Joseph Rich, as brave a man as ever went on such a trip. 
There were others who felt pretty shaky and wanted to 
turn back, but Mr. Rich said we had been picked as the 
best men in Rear Lake and he didn't feel like going back 
without making an attempt to capture the thieving band. 
One man said he was ready to go cut the throats of the 
whole bunch of robbers if the captain said so, but Mr. 
Rich said, "No ; we did not come out to shed blood. We 
want to take them alive and give them a fair trial." 

Every man was given a chance to say how he felt. 
Most of us wanted to make the attempt to capture the 
outlaws, and the majority ruled. 

How to do it was the next problem. It would have 
been folly for so few of us to make an open attack on so 
many well-armed men. The only way we could take 
them was by surprise, when they were asleep. This plan 
agreed upon, Mr. Rich proposed that we go down the hill 
with our horses and pack animals, get in line at the bottom, 
then, just at the peep of day, charge upon their camp, 
jump from our horses, run into their tents and grab their 
guns. When we had decided on this plan of action, Mr. 
Rich said that this probably meant a fight. If it did we 
should let them fire first. Should they kill one of us, we 
must not run ; for if we did so they would kill us all. We 
should give them the best we had. With our double-bar- 
reled shotguns loaded with buckshot, we would make 
things pretty hot for them if they showed fight. 

In order that we might know exactly the situation, and 
have our tents picked out beforehand, so as not to get in 
a mix-up, two volunteers were called for to go down 
through their camp in the night and get the lay of things. 
Jonathan Hoopes and I offered to go. Their tepees 
were pitched on both sides of a little stream, which was 

210 The White Indian Boy 

deep enough for us to keep out of sight by stooping a little. 
Down this stream we stole our way, wading with the cur- 
rent so as not to make any noise, till we got right among 
the tepees. The biggest one was pitched on the brink of 
the stream. We could hear some of the men inside of it 
snoring away lustily. Hoopes reached his hand up and 
found a blanket on which were some service berries spread 
out to dry. Being hungry, we helped ourselves, filling 
our pockets with them. After taking in the situation 
fully, we slipped back to our boys. 

There were seven tents in all, and fourteen of us — two 
to each tent. Hoopes and I were to take the largest, the 
other boys were assigned theirs. We waited for day to 
break ; just as it did, the word was given ; we popped 
spurs to our horses and away we went. A few seconds 
and we had leaped from them, rushed into the tents and 
begun to grab the guns from the robbers, who, wakened 
so rudely, stared stupidly, while we gathered in their 
weapons. By the time Hoopes was through passing them 
out to me, I had my arms loaded with rifles and revolvers. 
Mr. Rich told me to carry them up the hill a piece and 
stack them. "Shoot the first man who makes a move 
to touch them," was his order. When I looked around, 
there sat three of our men on their horses ; they hadn't 
done their duty, so some of the tents were yet untouched. 
I told Hoopes, and he jumped over the creek to one of 
them. I was just gathering up some weapons I had 
dropped when a big half-breed made a jump at me, grabbed 
my shotgun and we had a lively tussle for a few minutes. 
He might have got the better of me, for he was a good 
deal bigger than I, but Hoopes jumped to the rescue and 
cracked him on the head with his revolver so hard that it 
knocked him senseless for some time. 

When the outlaws rallied themselves enough to sense 

Frontier Troubles 211 

what had happened, they broke out of their tents in 
double-quick time, swearing and cursing and demanding 
what we wanted. 

Captain Rich told them to keep quiet, that they were 
all under arrest, that we had the advantage, but we would 
not harm them if they behaved themselves. Seeing that 
it was useless to resist, they settled down. 

The captain then ordered them to kill a calf for us, as 
we had not had anything to eat since noon the day before. 
They obeyed orders and we soon had a good breakfast. 
Later in the day part of our men went out and searched 
their herds. A good many cattle and horses belonging to 
our men were found among them. 

The leaders of the outlaws were not in this band. They 
were off making another raid somewhere. One of the 
band of outlaws was deaf and dumb. Captain Rich took 
this fellow aside and carried on a conversation with him 
by writing. From the man he learned that the rest of 
the band were expected in that night, but as they didn't 
come, we concluded that they had seen us and were lying 
off in the hills waiting a chance to ambush us and rescue 
their comrades. We were too sharp to give them the 
chance to do that. For three days we waited, guarding 
our prisoners. Then, as we thought it too risky to try to 
take so large a band of desperate men through the rough 
timbered country we must pass to get home, we took 
forty head of their horses as bond for their appearance at 
court in thirty days, and let the prisoners go. 

When we were ready to set out, we carried their guns to 
the top of a hill, and Hoopes and I were left to guard the 
weapons till we were sure our men were far enough away 
to be safe ; then we left the weapons and struck out for 
home after them. 

As no one ever came to redeem the horses, they were 

212 The White Indian Boy 

sold at auction. This nest of outlaws was broken up foi 
good the following year. Since then that part of the coun 
try has had no serious trouble with horse thieves and robbers 

One more rather exciting experience that befell me anc 
then I shall close these stories of my life in the ruggec 

It happened in 1870. Jim Donaldson, Charley Web 
ster, or "Webb," as we called him, and I were taking « 
peddling trip to Fort Stanbow, the soldier post that wa: 
temporarily established near South Pass for the protectioi 
of the miners and emigrants. We had loaded up ou 
three wagons with butter, eggs, and chickens. 

The Sioux Indians were then on the warpath. We ha< 
been warned to keep an eye on our horses, but we though 
little about it till one day we were nooning on the Bij 
Sandy — about where Lot Smith burnt the governmen 
wagon trains — when, just as we sat down to eat, "Webb' 
looked up to see our horses, which we had turned loose t< 
graze, disappearing in a cloud of dust. Two Indians wer 
behind them, both on an old horse of mine, and they wer 
whooping the others across the hills to beat time. 

Jumping to our feet we dashed after them afoot. Thi 
was useless, of course. "Webb" and Donaldson jerke< 
out their revolvers and took several shots at the rascals 
but they were out of revolver reach and getting farthe 
away every second, while we stared and damned them. 

It was a pretty pickle we were in — forty miles fron 
nowhere, with three wagons loaded with perishable stufl 
and not a horse to move them. We got madder and mad 
der as we watched the thieving devils gradually slip out o 
sight beyond the sand hills. 

Then we went back to our wagons — cussing and dis 
cussing the situation. For an hour or more we tried t< 
puzzle a way out of our difficulty. It was no use. Th 

Frontier Troubles 213 

more we worried the worse it looked. All the money I had 
was invested in those eggs and butter and they would soon 
be worse than nothing in the hot sun. The other boys 
were in as bad a fix as I was. We just couldn't see a way 
out of it ; but we kept up our puzzling till suddenly we 
heard a rumbling noise. 

A few minutes later a covered wagon drawn by a pair of 
mules came in sight. 

An old man — "Boss Tweed" the boys had nicknamed 
him — was the driver. In the seat with him was a boy, 
who had a saddle horse tied behind. They were surely 
a welcome sight to us. 

We told them of our trouble. The old man reckoned 
he could help us out. He proposed that we load the sup- 
plies of two of our wagons on his larger wagon, then trail- 
ing our other wagon behind, his old mules he thought 
could haul us into South Pass. It looked like our only 
chance, but "Webb" thought he had a better plan. 

The Indians, he said, must make their way out of the 
country through a certain pass. There was no other 
route they could escape by. If we three would take the 
mules and boy's horse and ride hard through the night, we 
might get ahead of the thieves and retake our horses. 

"Anything for the best," said the old man; but the 
boy objected. We shouldn't take his horse. He started 
to untie his animal, but we stopped him. Our situation 
was a desperate one ; he had to give in. 

We unhitched the mules, and strapped quilts on their 
backs. Donaldson and I jumped on them; "Webb" 
took the horse. Then we struck the trail single file, my 
old mule on lead with Jim to whip him up and "Webb" 
behind him to whip Jim's mule. It was a funny sight. 
I never meet Jim but he calls up that circus parade loping 
along over the hills out on the Big Sandy. 


The White Indian Boy 

S. N. Leek, Jackson, Wyoming 
Uncle Nick (E. N. Wilson, author of this book), landing a big trout out 
of Jackson Lake, Wyoming. 

The old mules were slow, but they were tough. They 
kept up their steady gait mile after mile through the night. 
We couldn't see any trail — just the gap in the mountains 
against the sky to guide us as we loped and jogged and 
jogged and loped through the long night. 

When daylight came to light our way, we found our- 
selves at the place where the trail took up over the pass. 
Soon it forked, the two branches of the trail going up two 

Frontier Troubles 215 

ravines which were separated by a low, narrow ridge. 
We saw no fresh tracks on either trail, so we knew the 
Indians had not passed this point. It looked as if we had 
got ahead of them as "Webb" hoped. 

We rode up one ravine about a mile from the forks, 
keeping out of the trail so as to leave no tracks to alarm 
the thieves if they came our way. Here we stopped and 
"Webb" went up on the ridge to where he could overlook 
the country and at the same time watch both trails. Our 
plan was to wait till we found out which trail the Red- 
skins took. Then we could post ourselves on either trail 
and head them off as they came up the one or the other 
ravine, it being but a short distance between the trails. 

"Webb" had not been on watch long before he sighted 
them coming about six miles away. He waited till they 
reached the forks. Luck favored us. They took our 
trail. Seeing this "Webb" slipped down to tell us. We 
hastily hid our horses in the tall brush that bordered the 
little creek, chose a place where the big birches hung over 
the trail, and got ready. "Webb" and Donaldson, having 
revolvers, were to take the lead Indian, while with my 
rifle I was to settle accounts with the other. 

We hadn't long to wait till here they came crowding 
our horses full tilt along the trail. We held ourselves till 
we had the dead drop on them, then we all fired. My 
companions both caught their Indian in the head. I took 
mine right under the arm. Their horses jumped and they 
both tumbled off so dead they didn't know what struck 
them. It may seem a cruel thing to do, but we were not 
going to take any chances. 

I never have found any joy in killing Indians. And I 
never have killed any except when circumstances com- 
pelled it; nor have I ever felt like boasting about such 
bloody work. These rascals certainly deserved what they 

216 The White Indian Boy 

got. They had stolen all we had and left us in a very serious 
difficulty. They were Sioux Indians who were escaping 
from a battle with the soldiers of Fort Stanbow. 

You can easily believe we were mighty glad to get back 
those horses and strike the trail again towards our wagons. 
We found things all right there. The old man had taken 
good care of our produce while we were away. He was 
just as happy as we were over our success. But do you 
think he would take any pay for his trouble? Not a 
cent. It was pay enough, he said, to feel so good because 
he had helped us out of a bad fix. When we got to 
South Pass, however, we found his home and left him 
some supplies with our good wishes. He was away at the 
time, so he couldn't object. 

The boy who had refused us his horse didn't object, 
though, to taking five dollars for his pay. I've always 
found a heap of difference among the human beings one 
meets in his travels. 

The years that have followed these wild days have not 
been so filled with exciting adventures, yet no year has 
passed without its rough and trying experiences; for it 
has been my lot to live always on the frontier. Even 
now my home is in Jackson's Hole — one of the last of our 
mountain valleys to be settled. In 1889 I first went into 
this beautiful valley, and a few years later I pioneered 
the little town now called Wilson, in my honor. 

It was here that I was brought again into close contact 
with my Shoshone friends — the Indians from whom for 
many years I had been all but lost. In 1895, when the 
so-called Jackson's Hole Indian war broke out and several 
Indians were killed and others captured and brought to 
trial for killing game, I was called on to act as interpreter. 
My sympathies went out to the Indians at this time. 

Frontier Troubles 


They were misunderstood and mistreated as they always 
have been. The Indian has always been pushed aside, 
driven, and robbed of his rights. 

It is a sad thought with me to see the Redmen giving 
away so rapidly before our advancing civilization. Where 
thousands of the Indians once roamed free, only a scat- 
tered few remain. The old friends of my boyhood days 
with Washakie have almost entirely passed away. Only 
once in a great while do I find one who remembers Yagaki, 
the little boy who once lived with their old chief's mother. 
But when I do happen to meet one — as I did last year 
when I found Hans, a wealthy Indian, who lives now on 
his ranch at the Big Bend in Portneuf Canyon — then 
we have a good time, I tell you, recalling the days of long 
ago when Uncle Nick was among the Shoshones. 

Caspar W . Hodgson 

A lily pond in the Yellowstone Park, which was pan of the land of the 


Editorial Note. The Indian words and definitions given in this 
glossary have been carefully checked by a scholar of national reputa- 
tion, who has studied the Shoshone language. He has pronounced 
the words as nearly correct as one can represent in our symbols these 
differing dialects of the Indian tribes. It has been the effort of the 
editor to be accurate, but it is difficult to give exactly the sounds of 
the Indian language. 

Angitapa (An'gi-ta-pa/). Name 
applied by Shoshone Indians 
to Rock Creek, Idaho. 

Antelope (an'te"-lop) . Animal 
akin to the deer, a native of 
the Western plains and open 
mountain valleys. Commonly 
called pronghorns. The North 
American pronghorn is not a 
true antelope. 

Balzamoriza (bal'za-mo-rl-za) . A 
species of plant with showy 
yellow blossoms, and velvety 
leaves, belonging to sunflower 
family. Commonly known as 
"spring sunflower." The 
seeds were used by Indians for 
food. It grows about one foot 

Bannocks (BSn'nocks or Pa/nooks). 
Tribe of western Indians allied 
to Shoshones. Dr. Robert 
Lowie, of the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History, gives 
the name Banaite as the one 
he found applied by the Lemhi 
Indians to the Bannocks. 

Chaps (from Spanish - American 
chaparajos). Leather or sheep- 
skin leggings worn by cow- 
boys to protect their legs from 
thorny bushes while riding. 

Chief Joseph. Leader of Nez 
Perce' Indians during sixties 
and seventies, who with Chief 

Looking-Glass and others led 
his tribe in a revolt against 
the United States, and after- 
wards fled with his people 
towards Canada, but was over- 
taken by soldiers under Gen- 
eral Miles, captured, and held 
in this country. 
Coyote (ki-o'te). Animal of the 
wolf family, a native of West- 
ern plains. Picturesquely de- 
scribed by Mark Twain in his 
Roughing It. 

Echo Canyon. A canyon about 
twenty miles in length, leading 
from southwestern Wyoming 
westward into Utah. Through 
this canyon ran the pony ex- 
press and overland trail. The 
canyon is so named because 
of the clear echoes made by 
its red sandstone cliffs. 

Fort Hall. The first Fort Hall was 
a fur-trading post on the Snake 
River, about fifteen miles to 
the north of Pocatello. The 
second Fort Hall was a mili- 
tary post about fifteen miles 
to the east of original site. 
The third and present Fort 
Hall is on Ross's Fork, about 
ten miles northeast of Poca- 
tello on Oregon Short-line. 
Now it is the headquarters of 
the Indian Agency of that 




Gosiutes (Go'shutes). Name given 
to scattered bands of Indians 
living in the deserts of western 
Utah and eastern Nevada. 
"Go" in this Indian dialect 
is said to mean desert or waste 
place ; hence Gosiutes would 
mean desert Utes. 

Hanabi (Han'a-bi). Washakie's 

Hogitsi (Hog'it-se"). Name of In- 
dian who trapped with Uncle 

Jackson's Hole. One of the splen- 
did valleys in western Wyo- 
ming, lying between the Con- 
tinental divide and the Teton 
Mountains. It was named 
after Jackson, an old moun- 
taineer, who made this his 
rendezvous while trapping and 

Koheets (Ko'heets). Indian name 
for the curlew (cur'lew), a 
Western bird of the plover 
family. Name given by In- 
dians also to a stream in south- 
ern Idaho. 

Lemhi (Lem'hi) . Name given to 
tribe of Indians and to an 
early fort or settlement in 
central eastern Idaho, near 
the Salmon River. Indian 
reservation there was aban- 
doned in 1907. 

"Lumpy Dick." A kind of por- 
ridge, made by boiling mois- 
tened flour in milk. Used in 
early days by Western pio- 

Morogonai (Mor'o-g6'ni). An old 
arrow maker and a retired 
chief of the Shoshones when 
Uncle Nick lived among them. 

Pantsuk (Pant'sook). Name of 
Uncle Nick's little Indian 

Parowan (Par'o-wan). Name ap- 
plied to tribe of Indians in 
southern Utah. Also name 
given to first settlement made 
in the same part of that state. 

Piatapa (Pe'at-a-pa) . Name given 
by Shoshones to Jefferson 
River, Montana. 

Pinto (pin' to). Painted, mottled, 
or vari- colored. Many of the 
Indian ponies were pinto 
ponies. (See pictures on 
pages 11 and 54.) 

Piubi (Pe'ub-e). Name of one of 
Washakie's brothers who was 
killed by snowslide. 

Piupa (Pe'u-pa). Name given to 
Snake River by Shoshones. 
Means " Big Water." 

Pocatello (Po'ca tel'lo). Name of 
one of leading chieftains of 
Shoshones. He did not agree 
with Washakie in the pacific 
policy followed by the latter 
chief. Pocatello protested and 
fought against the encroach- 
ment of the whites. Poca- 
tello, Idaho, was named after 
this chief. 

Quaking aspen. A tree common 
in the mountains of the West. 
Named because its leaves are 
ever trembling. Its bark is 
white ; the tree grows some- 
times fifty to sixty feet in 
height. Its wood is for fuel. 



Rawhide. Untanned skin of ani- 
mals. Strips of this skin were 
often used in place of ropes 
and strings by the Indians 
and pioneers of the West 

Sagwich (Sag'wich). A chief- 
tain of Pocatello"s band. 

Sego (se'g5). A plant of lily fam- 
ily common throughout the 
mountains and valleys of the 
West. It grows from a small 
onion - like bulb, generally 
found about eight inches in 
the ground. This bulb was 
used by the Indians for food. 
The Utah pioneers, learning 
of this native food from the 
Indians, also used it in early 
days when provisions were 
scarce. The sego lily has 
been officially chosen as 
Utah's State flower. It 
blooms in the latter part of 
May, and is used extensively 
on Decoration Day. Among 
the interesting spring pastimes 
of the Western boys and girls 
are sego digging and gathering 
sego lilies. Se'go is the Indian 
name for this plant. 

Service berries. Small berries 
similar in size and color to 
blueberries and huckleberries. 
Found plentifully in the 
mountains of the West. They 
grow on bushes. Used by 
Indians for food. Granny 
Pokiboro's service berry bas- 
ket was among the collection 
of Shoshone relics pictured on 
page 111. 

Shoshone (Sho'sho-ne"). Some- 
times spelled Shoshoni. Name 

applied generally to Indians 
of Utah, Idaho, and Western 
Wyoming, and some parts of 
Eastern Nevada. Southern 
Shoshones were usually spoken 
of as Ute tribe. " Shoshone " 
probably means "Snake." 
The Shoshones were com- 
monly called the Snake In- 
dians by the other tribes 
and the early pioneers of the 

Sioux (Sod) . Name of large Indian 
tribe of the northern central 

Sogwobipa(S5g-wob'bi-pa). Name 
given by Shoshones to Mis- 
souri River. 

Suarki ( Su-ar'ki) . Name of young 
Indian who accompanied Un- 
cle Nick when he went to 
bring Sagwich and his band 
back to the reservation. 

Swap (swap). Means to trade, 
to exchange. 

Tabby (Tab-by). Tabby means 
the sun. Name of Gosiute 
Indian who lived about 
Grantsville, Utah, in the early 
days and who saved Uncle 
Nick. It was also the name 
of a chief of the Utes. 

Tabop (Ta-b5p'). Letter of rec- 
ommendation given to Indians. 
They used such letters at 
times when they would come 
asking for food. 

Tepee (te'pee, also ti'pi). Name 
applied to cone-shaped tent 
used by Western Indian tribes. 
Made in earlier days of buf- 
falo robes or elk skins ; now 
made of canvas. 



Teton Mountains (Te'ton) . Name 
of mountain range on western 
edge of Wyoming. The Teton 
Peaks (see picture facing page 
1) are famous the world over. 
The Grand Teton is about 
14,000 feet high. 

Titsapa (Tit'se-pa). Name given 
to the Bear River, a stream 
which rises in northeastern 
Utah, flows through part of 
Wyoming and Idaho, and 
finally finds its way back into 
Utah and empties into the 
Great Salt Lake. 

Tobitapa (To'b6-tT-pa). Name 
given by Indians to the Port- 
neuf, a branch of the Snake 
River. The Portneuf rises 
in southeastern Idaho and 
flows through the Portneuf 
Canyon past Pocatello and 
empties into the Snake River 
about ten miles northwest of 
this city. 

Tosaibi(T5'se"-a'bi). Name given 
springs in southeastern Idaho. 
The water of these springs is 
a kind of natural soda water. 
They are used by many for 

medicinal purposes. Tosa or 
Tose means white. The sedi- 
ment from these springs makes- 
whitish mounds. 
Tosenamp CTo'se-namp') . White- 
foot. Tose (white), namp 
(foot). Name given to Indian 
who worked for Uncle Nick's 

Umbaginny (Um'ba-jm-ny) . A 
Gosiute Indian killed by the 
whites for cattle stealing in 
early days. 

Washakie (Wash'aVke'). Name of 
chief of the Shoshones from 
about 1850 until his death 
about 1890. 

Wickiup (wick'i-iip). Name given 
to brush huts and other rude 
shelters built by the Indians, 
out West. 

Yagaki (Y£'g&-ke). Name given 

by Indians to Uncle Nick. 

Means "the crier." 
Yaibi (Yi'bi). Name of one of 

Washakie's brothers killed by 

a snowslide. 






By William Francis Hooker 
Edited by Howard R. Driggs 

BULLWHACKING is an occupation about which most per- 
sons know little in these days, but one that demanded cour- 
age out in Wyoming territory fifty years ago. The bullwhacker 
drove ox teams to outlying army posts and Indian reservations far 
from railroads, when the pioneers were pushing our frontier west 
of the Missouri. 

Mr. Hooker was one of these bullwhackers and his book is a true 
account of his adventures while driving frontier freighters. He 
tells one of the choice stories of America's making and in a way 
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Pioneer adventures are here recounted in an entertaining way, 
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pupils of the upper grades an adventurous period of our history. 

Cloth, xvi -f- 167 pages. Illustrated. Price $i.or 


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2126 Prairie Avenue, Chicago 



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By William J. McConnell 

In collaboration with Howard R. Driggs 

THE restoring of law and order on our western frontier in the 
sixties was the work of courageous men with firm hands. It 
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Mr. McConnell, who was first a captain of a band of Vigilantes 
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the hands of law-abiding citizens. 

In straight-forward fashion he tells of his journey from Michigan 
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Through this life story of a real American boy rings a clear note 
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Cloth, xii -\- 223 pages. Illustrated. Price $1.20 


yonkers-on-hudson, new york 
2126 Prairie Avenue, Chicago 


Ox-Team Days on 
the Oregon Trail 


Revised and Edited by Howard R. Driggs 
In 1852 Ezra Meeker left Iowa to make the hazardous journey by- 
ox team to Oregon. After fifty-four years of struggle in the develop- 
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team, in order to induce people to mark the famous Oregon Trail 
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This book is the thrilling, true story of what Mr. Meeker has seen 
and done — of the struggle through an unknown country to win and 
finally to hold the West, and of efforts to preserve the memory of 
the Trail. 

The account reflects the real spirit of Americanism, and will go far 
to humanize our history through its vivid pictures of the brave men 
and women who helped push our frontier to the Pacific. 
Cloth, x -f 225 pages. Illustrated. Trice $1.20 


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By Major Alson B. Ostrander 
Edited by Howard R. Driggs 

A STORY of the plains in the days just following the Civil 
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Cloth, xii + 242 pages. Illustrated. Price $1.20 


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By George W. Stokes 

In collaboration ivith Howard R. Driggs 

THE life and work of the pioneer miners who opened up the 
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There is in this volume much historical and geographical informa- 
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Cloth, xii + 163 pages. Illustrated. Price $1.00 



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By Clarence W. Taber 

A STORY of early days in Dakota when the settlers, following 
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The characters of the story were real persons and the events re- 
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This book is not alone a convincing story; it gives many lessons 
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Cloth, <viii + 292 pages. Illustrated. Price $1.36 


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